Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a former presidential candidate and possible Republican vice-presidential nominee, proposed to his girlfriend, Mindy Noce, Saturday evening at the beach in Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
She said yes.
“As a guy who is mostly an introvert and on the quiet side, having to have a conversation about the engagement is a little, you know, uncomfortable in a way, but it’s the most exciting thing I’ll do with my life besides making Jesus my Lord,” Scott said in an interview Sunday.
“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, a Charleston-area interior designer and mother of three who was previously married, was spotted Sunday at a church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., wearing an engagement ring, Scott said.
They began dating about a year ago, Scott said, after being introduced at church and bonding over Bible study.
“My joke is as soon as I saw her picture, I figured it out. But the truth is about two weeks into it, I knew there was something very different about her and her faith,” he said. “In our first conversation that went about an hour and a half or two, we ended up deciding to do a Bible study together.”
Scott said he had approached her parents about two weeks before Christmas to ask for their blessing. With their approval, he set about planning the proposal. One of his friends rejected an early idea of proposing after a pickleball game, a hobby that both of them enjoy, he said.
He settled on a sunset proposal on Kiawah Island, prompting a long drive Saturday to the frigid beach. He described awkwardly trying to dissuade her from wearing gloves when they walked out on the sand, and positioned someone to take a photograph of the event.
Scott, 58, endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign Friday in New Hampshire, after abandoning his own presidential bid last year. His campaign, backed by an uplifting message and significant early television advertising, failed to gain traction after several debate performances where he was overshadowed by former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.
“We need a president who sees Americans as one American family,” Scott said Friday. “And that’s why I came to the very warm state of New Hampshire to endorse the next president of these United States, President Donald Trump.”
A lifelong bachelor who is the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, Scott was previously engaged more than two decades ago, but never married. Scott said he and Noce plan to wed this year.
He disclosed during the campaign that he was dating someone he met through his church. After a November debate in Miami, he brought Noce onstage to pose for a photograph.
Months before the debate, Scott told The Washington Post that he was dating a Christian woman who agreed with his religious values.
“I can’t imagine dragging her onto the campaign trail unless I have the intention of marrying her,” he said. “I hope that happens, to be honest with you.”
He later tried to amend that remark.
“I guess I should be careful about how I say that,” Scott said. “Strike that comment.”