South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a former presidential candidate and a prominent Republican leader, announced his engagement to his girlfriend, Mindy Noce, on Sunday. The couple met through a mutual friend from church and have been dating for about a year. Scott, 58, proposed to Noce, 47, on the beach in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, and shared the happy news on social media.
Who is Sen. Tim Scott?
Scott is the junior senator from South Carolina, serving since 2013. He is the first African American senator to be elected from the Southern United States since the Reconstruction era.
Scott was born on September 19, 1965, in North Charleston, South Carolina, to a single mother who worked as a nursing assistant. He struggled academically in his early years, but with the help of his mother and a mentor, he improved his grades and graduated from Charleston Southern University with a degree in accounting. He worked in financial services before entering politics.
Scott started his political career as a member of the Charleston County Council in 1995. He then served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011, and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in 2013, to fill the vacancy left by Jim DeMint. He won a special election in 2014, and was reelected in 2016 and 2022.
Scott was a candidate in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries, launching his campaign in May 2023. He suspended his campaign in November 2023, citing low poll numbers and lack of media attention. He endorsed former President Donald Trump for the nomination in January 2024, despite having some policy disagreements with him in the past.
Scott is known for his conservative views on issues such as taxes, health care, immigration, and abortion. He is also a vocal advocate for opportunity zones, a program that encourages private investment in distressed communities. He has been praised for his efforts to bridge racial divides and promote criminal justice reform.
Announcing the Engagement
Scott and Noce made their relationship public at the third Republican presidential debate on November 8, 2023, where Scott introduced her on stage. Noce is a design and renovations manager at Atlantic Properties of Lowcountry, a real estate firm in Charleston. She is a mother of three children from a previous marriage. She studied health science at the College of Charleston and has lived in the Lowcountry area for almost 20 years.
Mindy Noce revealed during brief presidential run
Scott had hinted at his relationship with Noce in September 2023, when he told Fox News that he had a “wonderful girlfriend” whom he met through a friend from church. He said he was not ready to make their relationship public, unless he had the intention of marrying her.
He revealed her identity during his brief presidential run, saying that she was a “lovely Christian woman” who shared his values and faith. He also said that she was supportive of his political aspirations and that they used a Bible study app to connect.
Scott proposed to Noce on Saturday, January 20, 2024, on the beach in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. He got down on one knee and presented her with a ring, which she accepted. He posted two photos of the proposal on his X account, with the caption: “She said YES. Mindy, thank you for making me the luckiest man in the world.” He also quoted a verse from the Book of Proverbs: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”
The couple celebrated their engagement with a dinner and attended church the next morning, where Noce showed off her ring. A spokesperson for Scott said that they had not set a date for the wedding yet, but that they were “very happy” together.
Reactions and Comments
Scott and Noce received many congratulations and well-wishes from their friends, family, and colleagues. Among them were former President Trump, who called Scott a “great guy” and a “strong leader,” and former Gov. Haley, who said she was “thrilled” for the couple and that Noce was “a wonderful addition to the Scott family.”
Other Republican senators, such as Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, also expressed their happiness for Scott and Noce, and praised their relationship. Graham said that Noce was “a great catch” and that Scott was “a lucky man.” Cruz said that Noce was “a beautiful and talented woman” and that Scott was “a good friend and a principled leader.” Rubio said that Noce was “a lovely and gracious lady” and that Scott was “a man of faith and integrity.”
Haley’s hopes to stop Trump’s march to nomination
The announcement of Scott’s engagement came amid the heated race for the Republican presidential nomination, where Trump is the frontrunner and Haley is his main challenger. Haley, who appointed Scott to the Senate in 2013, is hoping to stop Trump’s march to the nomination by winning the South Carolina primary in February 2024.
Haley has been critical of Trump’s policies and rhetoric, especially on foreign affairs and trade. She has also accused him of dividing the party and the country, and of undermining democracy and the rule of law. She has presented herself as a more moderate and pragmatic alternative to Trump, who can appeal to a broader coalition of voters.
Scott, who endorsed Trump in January 2024, has defended his decision, saying that he agrees with Trump on most issues and that he believes Trump is the best candidate to defeat President Joe Biden in the general election. He has also said that he respects Haley and that he hopes the party can unite behind the eventual nominee.
Scott and Noce’s engagement is a happy and personal milestone for the couple, who have been dating for about a year. It is also a significant political event, as it showcases a different side of Scott, who is one of the most influential and prominent Republicans in the country. Scott and Noce’s relationship reflects their shared values, faith, and love for South Carolina. It also adds a new dimension to the Republican presidential primary, where Scott is a key ally of Trump and Haley is his main rival.