Meet Tim Scott, the South Carolina senator and former GOP candidate who could become Trump's pick for vice president

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  • Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is on Donald Trump's shortlist of potential running mates.

  • The only Black Republican in the Senate, Scott helped pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017.

  • His unmarried status raised questions during his campaign, but Scott is now engaged.

South Carolina senator Tim Scott, Donald Trump's former GOP opponent, is now on his shortlist of potential 2024 running mates, should the former president secure the Republican nomination.

A devout Christian and the only Black Republican in the Senate, Scott announced his presidential campaign in May 2023 but was out of the race by November. He endorsed Trump in January.

Here's a look at Scott's upbringing, political career, and possible future as Trump's vice president.

Tim Scott grew up in poverty and worked as an insurance agent before pivoting to politics.

Tim Scott in 2011 with an American flag in the background
Tim Scott in 2011.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In his presidential campaign announcement speech, Scott described himself as being "raised in poverty in a single-parent household" in South Carolina.

After Scott's parents divorced when he was 7 years old, he, his mother, and his two brothers moved in with his maternal grandparents.

During high school, Scott worked at a movie theater and often ordered fries for lunch from Chick-fil-A since he couldn't afford the sandwiches, he wrote in a 2016 post on Medium. The owner of the Chick-fil-A restaurant, John Moniz, eventually became a mentor to Scott and helped shape his views on "business and conservative principles," Scott wrote.

Scott attended Presbyterian College on a partial football scholarship, where he joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and became a devout Christian, according to his official website.

He owned an insurance agency before his election to Charleston County Council, where he served from 1995 to 2009. He then served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2011.

Tim Scott is sworn in to the House of Representatives in 2011
Speaker of the House John Boehner participates in a ceremonial swearing-in with Tim Scott in January 2011.Alex Wong/Getty Images

Scott became the first Black Republican to serve in the House of Representatives in over a century, CNN reported.

In 2012, Nikki Haley, then governor of South Carolina, appointed him to fill a vacant Senate seat.

Tim Scott speaks as Nikki Haley looks on in 2012
Tim Scott speaks to reporters at the South Carolina Statehouse after being introduced by Nikki Haley to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint in December 2012.Tim Dominick/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

When South Carolina senator Jim DeMint vacated his seat, Scott's historic appointment made him the first Black Republican in the Senate in over 30 years and the first Black senator elected from the South since the Reconstruction era. He remains the only Black Republican in the Senate.

"My skin color is talked about often. Tonight I want to talk about it for just a moment," Scott wrote in a series of posts on X, then known as Twitter, in 2012. "In South Carolina, in America, it takes a generation to go from having a grandfather who is picking cotton, to a grandson in Congress. We are thankful for those trailblazers who came before us and said the status quo was not enough. I stand on the shoulders of giants. Our values and our issues are central. The most important things we have to offer are on the inside. This is a testament to progress made."

Scott is a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Tim Scott speaks in a Senate hearing in 2023
Ranking member Sen. Tim Scott speaks during a hearing with the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in September 2023 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Scott also serves on the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committees, as well as the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

In 2017, he helped write and pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the first significant update to US tax code in over 30 years, according to the senator's official website.

He announced his candidacy for president in May 2023.

Tim Scott
Tim Scott delivers a speech announcing his candidacy for president in May 2023.AP Photo/Mic Smith

"This is the freest, fairest land where you can go as high as your character and your grit and your talent will take you," Scott said in his announcement speech. "I bear witness to that. I testify to that. That's why I'm the candidate the far left fears the most."

With $20 million left over from his Senate reelection campaign, Scott started his presidential run in a strong financial position.

Scott's unmarried status raised questions throughout his campaign. He brought his girlfriend to the third Republican debate, and the two are now engaged.

Tim Scott and Mindy Noce
Tim Scott poses onstage with Mindy Noce after the Republican presidential debate in November 2023.Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Scott, 58, has never been married and does not have children — a fact that concerned voters and donors in the conservative party.

"It's like a different form of discrimination or bias," Scott told the Washington Post in September of criticism of his relationship status. "You can't say I'm Black, because that would be terrible, so find something else that you can attack."

While he occasionally mentioned a girlfriend in interviews on the campaign trail, his relationship didn't become public until after the third primary debate, when he brought her onstage.

Scott's girlfriend was identified as Mindy Noce, an interior designer based in Charleston.

Scott announced his engagement to Noce in January, telling the Washington Post they met through church and had been dating for about a year.

"I've been very patient and prayerful, and I'm really excited and somewhat nervous, and I couldn't be more thankful for having found a soul mate and someone who shares a lot of the same interests, passions, and goals that I do," he said.

Noce has three children from a previous marriage.

Shortly after the debate, Scott suspended his presidential campaign.

(L-R) former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on a stage behind podiums.
Republican presidential candidates at the third Republican primary debate.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Amid low poll numbers, speculation about his love life, and unsuccessful attempts to challenge Trump's hold over the GOP, Scott dropped out of the presidential race.

"I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they're telling me, 'Not now, Tim,'" he told Fox News in November.

He endorsed Trump in January, four days before the New Hampshire primary.

Tim Scott speaks at a Trump campaign event as Donald Trump looks on
Tim Scott speaks at a Trump campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire, in January 2024.TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Scott made several appearances with Trump in New Hampshire ahead of the primary, which Trump went on to win.

Scott told The Wall Street Journal that his and Trump's styles are "incredibly different" but "very complementary."

Trump told Fox News in February that Scott is on his shortlist of possible vice presidential candidates.

Tim Scott and Donald Trump at a campaign event in New Hampshire in January 2024
Tim Scott and Donald Trump at a campaign event in New Hampshire in January 2024.TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

In an interview with Fox News in February, Trump named Scott as a potential 2024 running mate.

"He's a respected guy," Trump said. "But he ran and he did fine, and then when he got out he endorsed me and he's a surrogate. He's the greatest surrogate I've ever seen."

Trump has also floated Ron DeSantis, Kristi Noem, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tulsi Gabbard as potential vice presidential candidates.

Read the original article on Business Insider