A longtime former Columbia city council member will join the South Carolina Senate, becoming just the sixth woman currently serving in the 46-member legislative chamber.

Democrat Tameika Isaac Devine won a special election Tuesday to take the Columbia-area seat previously held by the late John Scott, a Democratic lawmaker who spent more than 30 years in the South Carolina General Assembly before his death this August.

Isaac Devine got over 85% of the vote in the Democratic stronghold, according to unofficial results from the South Carolina Election Commission. Only 7.5% of registered voters reportedly turned out for the contest.


The results are expected to be certified Thursday ahead of next week’s start to the 2024 legislative session.

Isaac Devine lost a tight runoff in the 2021 Columbia mayoral race. A real estate attorney, she served on the Columbia City Council from 2002 to 2021. Her campaign touted her leadership on a training program for unemployed citizens, as well as efforts to establish a criminal domestic court and homeless court. She also founded a consulting firm that helps working mothers balance professional success with family life.

Bob Coble, the Columbia mayor when Isaac Devine first joined the city council, wrote that the senator-elect will “work with all sides” like she did at the local level.

Congratulations also came from independent state Sen. Mia McLeod, a member of the all-woman bipartisan coalition recognized nationally for their filibuster last year of a near-total abortion ban.

“…and then there were 6!!!” McLeod wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Thank you, Senate District 19, for sending us another strong Sister-Senator!!”