Minorities ride GOP wave to historic SC victories

WASHINGTON (AP) - Several minority candidates rode the Republican surge on Tuesday, as an Indian-American woman was elected governor of South Carolina while voters sent the first black Republican to Congress since 2003.

In South Carolina, Nikki Haley won a closer-than-expected governor's race, and Tim Scott was easily elected to the House. Scott will be the first black Republican congressman from South Carolina since Reconstruction.

On the Democratic side, Terri Sewell became the first black woman elected to Congress in Alabama.

Scott is a state representative and insurance company owner who earned a primary victory over the son of the 1-time segregationist, U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond.

The last black Republican in Congress was J.C. Watts of Oklahoma. He left office in 2003.

The first black Republican US Congressman was Joseph Rainey of Georgetown. He was elected to served in Congress in 1870 and was the first black person to serve in the US House.

Rainey served four terms in Congress, which made him the longest-serving black Congressman prior to William Dawson, who served in the 1950s.

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