South Carolina’s Tim Scott on Tuesday became the first African-American senator to win election in the South since Reconstruction.
Scott, the Palmetto State Republican, was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to the office after former Sen. Jim DeMint resigned in November 2012. In this year’s midterms, he outlasted Democratic challenger Joyce Dickerson.
The election was only to fill the last two years of DeMint’s term. Scott will have to run again in 2016 in order to earn a full six-year term.
Scott’s win also made him the first African-American in U.S. history to be elected to both the House and the Senate.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted congratulations to Scott on Tuesday night, noting his “historic win.”
Scott discussed that history in a series of election-night tweets.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was also re-elected Tuesday.
It was a year of firsts for African-American Republicans. Mia Love of Utah became the first African-American Republican woman to win a seat in Congress.