By Stacy Jacobson
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Rep. Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate to fill Jim DeMint's vacant seat Monday.
Scott grew up in a single-parent household in North Charleston. He served on the Charleston County Council for 13 years and in the South Carolina House for two years before his election to the U.S. Congress.
Lowcountry leaders and residents said they're happy to have one of their own in the U.S. Senate.
"He used to have an insurance company right near our area. I think he represents our community's interests. He really cares for people in his community, and I think that will carry over to the national level," James Island resident Brook Lyon said.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who is a Democrat, said he always worked well with Scott, a Republican. Riley said the future senator always worked across the aisle.
"I believe his spirit of bipartisanship that he displayed while being in government here and on county council will help change the tone of things in Washington," Riley said.
Local politicians said Tim Scott is right for the job because of his focus on reducing the debt and his background in business.
"He's a man of conviction and he's able to explain why it's important to be a conservative. Tim Scott got this job because of who he is," State Sen. Larry Grooms (R) said.
"The problems are very large and numerous and I think Tim Scott is the capable, conservative choice to address these problems in the U.S. Senate," State Rep. Chuck Limehouse said.
Scott will be the only black member of the Senate. Lyon said that made her "excited" and she thought government needed more diversity.
"It says we are more progressive than some of the country views us -- that we don't just clutch to our bibles and our guns," Lyon said.
Scott is expected to take office in January.
He is the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century.