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Send Scott to Congress

When Republican Tim Scott hails America as “the land of opportunity,” that familiar slogan packs an extra personal punch. He has succeeded in both business and politics despite being born into a low-income family and being raised by a single mother. And he has shown himself worthy of the opportunity to serve in Congress as the replacement for 1st District Rep. Henry Brown, who is stepping down after five terms.

Mr. Scott long ago developed a deep faith in capitalism. The former Stall High School tailback also has developed an impressive reputation for promoting the free market via fiscal responsibility in elective office.

During his 13 years on Charleston County Council, its budget declined twice and taxes were never raised. Council even managed to strengthen its “rainy day” reserve funds in case of revenue downturns — a particularly prudent move in light of the current slump.

Mr. Scott, council chairman on multiple occasions, helped recruit many new jobs to the county, an especially crucial task with the closure of the Charleston Navy Base.

In 2008, he won a seat in the S.C. House, where he again was a champion for bottom-line accountability, backing legislation to increase the state’s general reserve fund and enhance fiscal transparency.

He fairly warns that Washington’s unprecedented spending spree undermines not just our economy but national security. He adds that capital investment will continue to lag as long as Washington keeps the private sector guessing about future tax burdens, leaving business leaders with “no ability to predict” federal policy. Yet he expresses optimism that if Congress gets its fiscal act together, “American exceptionalism” can again generate economic resurgence. Citing the new Clemson wind turbine facility that broke ground Thursday at the former Navy Base, he told us: “America can make things again.”

Though staunchly conservative, Mr. Scott has made a habit of forging bipartisan alliances. He refuses to go along with what he rightly detects as a troubling trend of “demonizing” political foes.

Mr. Scott would make national news with a victory Tuesday because he would be the first black Republican elected to Congress from this state since the 19th century — and because the current Congress has no black GOP members.

But it’s not news that Mr. Scott is a proven fiscal conservative with a solid record of delivering on his promises to the public. Give him a chance to extend that admirable service in Washington.

By “The Post and Courier”