Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Black Republican I'd Actually Consider Voting For.

As a black man married to a black woman, admitting when I'm wrong is a defense mechanism way of life. In short: I can admit when I called one incorrectly. And for those on the Right who thought I was hatin' when I said not a single Black GOP'er would make it to DC come November, this half-assed apology is for you.
State Rep. Tim Scott took a step toward history Tuesday night, handily locking up the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District.

His 3-1 win over his former Charleston County Council colleague Paul Thurmond makes him likely to become the first black Republican to serve in Congress since J.C. Watts of Oklahoma retired six years ago.

With all five counties reporting, Scott had won about 68 percent of the vote to Thurmond's 32 percent. In Horry and Georgetown counties, where Thurmond had garnered a lot of support from local candidates, Scott still won by a smaller margin with about 56 percent of the vote in both counties.

Scott, 44, owns an insurance business and became the first black Republican in the South Carolina Legislature in more than a century when elected two years ago. Before that, he served 13 years on Charleston County Council and was elected chairman four times. This week's primary results in South Carolina indicate a Republican Party growing more diverse in a state that continues to distance a past rooted in the darkness of slavery and segregation.

Scott's big win is a bright spot for national Republicans trying to diversify their party. While Michael Steele, the first black to head the Republican National Committee, recruited 32 African-American candidates, most have lost or are expected to lose.

If these unofficial results hold and Scott also wins on Nov. 2, he would become the first black Republican elected to Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction.
It's odd that South Carolina House candidate Tim Scott didn't get the same level of media attention as some of his more visible Negro counterparts (ie: Allen West and Michael Williams) in the time leading up to his primary a few weeks ago. Of course, Scott was the unsung winner when he essentially won a race against a son of the late, and not-so-great Strom Thurmond.

Call it what you like, but beating a Republican with that sort of name recognition in a state which is synonymous with Thurmond is probably more impressive than anything Alvin Greene did that same night. Of course, this being SC and all, if you don't get 50% of the vote in a primary, you've gotta redo things with a run-off. Scott vs Thurmond round 2 was earlier this week, and it looks like the GOP has found their next JC Watts to parade around as a beacon of progress while generally disregarding his opinions for the next 2 years.

While this guy is spouting the typical GOP talking points, one thing I haven't seen in the few times I've watched him on YouTube is the typical GOP greasy Tea Party, "Us vs Them" rhetoric. I might have just missed this, but to me, Scott seems pretty reasonable.[1] He's the type of Republican I've voted for in the past, and would vote for in the future.

If the GOP's smart, they'll find and push sensible, non-mouth breathing candidates like this, regardless of color.

Meh, who are we kidding, this is still the GOP we're talkin' about.

Question: Is Scott's election a signal that the GOP is moving in the right direction?

GOP state Rep. Scott defeats Thurmond [SunNews]

[1] Go watch that campaign speech. If I didn't know his party affiliation, I'd assume this guy was a liberal.

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