Southern Narratives

An interview with SC Senator, Tim Scott.

An interview with SC Senator, Tim Scott.

What makes you most proud to be a Sandlapper?
The way our state has evolved and come together over the past 15-20 years has been absolutely amazing. After the tragedy at Mother Emanuel, we saw this unity in full force and showed the world what it truly means to be from South Carolina.

And on the economic front, our hardworking and talented workforce has led a renaissance in our state. Companies from all over the world are now seeking out South Carolina as a place to expand and create jobs.

I have never been more proud of our state than I am today, and things will only continue to get better.

Who instilled in you your love of country and state?
I can’t remember not loving my country and my state—I think multiple experiences over many years helped me love my state and country even more. My father’s military service at a young age, getting a second chance to succeed both in high school and business, and meeting the hardworking people of South Carolina in my current role have all amplified my appreciation for both.

South Carolina is a state, and the United States is a nation, where anything is possible, and that is a truly amazing thing.

You started working as a young man to help support your family. How did this experience help shape you as a leader?
I learned that no task is too small to be done well! At the age of 13, I started my first job, working at a gas station, and learned the value of doing your absolute best every single day.

I was also able to see that all work brings the blessing of accomplishment, and that is a lesson I try and pass along to my staff everyday. No matter how small the task, it plays a role in the larger product­—which in our case now is serving the people of South Carolina.

Who inspired you as a young boy?
Watching my mother, a single mom, work 16 hour days to keep a roof over our heads certainly shaped my outlook. Her strength, her determination and her love are powerful forces in my life, and looking back on it now I am absolutely amazed at what she was able to do.

Who inspires you today?
My grandfather, who at 94 is still teaching me things today. A quick story—when I was a kid and we were living with my grandparents, every morning we would sit at the kitchen table for breakfast. Hoping to show me how important an education was, he would make sure to go through the paper each morning as we were all sitting there together.

It was not until years later that I learned that he couldn’t read. But he knew that having his grandsons see him looking through that paper would make an impression, and it turned out to be one that has stuck with my brother and me throughout our lives.

Dangerous question…Tigers or Gamecocks?
364 days out of the year, it’s both! Who doesn’t love a little mystery on day 365?

BBQ…Mustard, Tomato or Vinegar?

What is your favorite South Carolina fall get-away?
Any football stadium on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons!

What are the top 3 songs on your playlist right now?
Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker, Say Amen by Finding Favor and Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.

You are from North Charleston. What’s an undiscovered local spot there that you love?
The Duck Pond near Park Circle. The city and people of North Charleston have done a great job revitalizing that area.

Where do you see South Carolina in 20 years?
Leading the nation on a variety of fronts. As I wrote earlier, the way our state has come together is a model not only for the nation but also for the world, and we will continue that process moving forward. Business will be booming, as our incredible workforce and job-friendly tax and regulatory environment will lead to even more investment and job creation in our state. And we all know that for as long as there’s a South Carolina, we will be a world-class tourist destination – from the mountains of the Upstate to the beaches of the Lowcountry.