DeMint leaving Senate to head Heritage Foundation, Haley to appoint replacement

DeMint said to want Scott as successor

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM

  • U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint announced Thursday morning that he will be leaving the Senate in January, before the new Congressional Session, to become the president of the conservative Washington think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

A successor, who will serve the next two years of what would be DeMint's second term, will be named by Gov. Nikki Haley, also a Republican, before a special election is held in 2014. The winner of the special election would serve the remaining two years of DeMint's term and would then be up for re-election again in 2016.


Early speculation is that Haley will make the appointment from the stable of Republican lawmakers elected in 2010 such as Tim Scott or Mick Mulvaney. Former attorney general and failed Republican candidate for governor Henry McMaster has also been floated as a good fit. CNN reports that DeMint would like to see Scott as his successor.

"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight," DeMint said in a statement, "I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I've always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator." The junior senator, first elected in 2004 after Fritz Hollings opted to retire instead of seeking a seventh term.

During his time in office, DeMint has built a reputation for himself as a hard-nosed, unapologetic conservative who rarely bowed to political pressure. Over the course of the 2010 and 2012 elections, DeMint positioned himself as a 'kingmaker' of sorts, raising and distributing more than $20 million to sometimes-longshot conservative candidates on behalf of his Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee.

Gov. Haley said in a statement that DeMint's "voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration."

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

He did a Palin.

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Posted by TROLLSLAYER on December 6, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Is this the latest Republican Strategy? Resign your office so another Republican can be appointed and then run as an "incumbent"?

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Posted by TROLLSLAYER on December 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM

That's easy... Alvin Greene.

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Posted by Yogart on December 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

FCB - Righttttt, because Democrats have never done this, just Republicans.

This is actually a poorly written article that contradicts itself. DeMint was elected in 2004, reelected in 2010 for a term to end in 2016. If the appointee serves the rest of DeMint's term, then there would not be a special election in 2014.

Either the appointee serves till 2016 and completes the term, or till 2014 and then has to run in a special election as an incumbent with the winner being in office for a full term. It would be dumb to have a special election in 2014 only to then have to run again in 2016.

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Posted by Ned Hill on December 6, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Democrats? There's Democrats in South Carolina?

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Posted by TROLLSLAYER on December 6, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The winner of the special election would serve until 2016, not the appointee. I don't know if this is an update but the article is now accurate.

I'm just waiting for the real reason for his resignation to surface, although the bigger paycheck and even lower job requirements (no more threatening to filibuster) has got to be pretty attractive.

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Posted by factoryconnection on December 6, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Thanks, guys. Correction made.

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Posted by Sam Spence on December 7, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Showing 1-7 of 7

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