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Jim DeMint to Resign From Senate to Lead Think Tank

The U.S. senator will become the second leader of the Heritage Foundation next year.

Sen. Jim DeMint will resign his seat next year and take over the Heritage Foundation, the think tank announced Thursday.

Jim DeMint will leave the Senate in January to become president-elect of the foundation, succeeding Edwin J. Feulner, the think tank's founder in 1973 and president of the past 36 years.

DeMint will take over as president on April 3. 

The ideas for who should replace DeMint are already flying on social media. Immediate speculation for replacement focused on U.S. Rep Tim Scott from Charleston.

But the decision goes to Gov. Nikki Haley, who will pick a replacement to fill the seat until a special election can be held in November 2014.

“U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has served South Carolina and the national conservative movement exceptionally well," said Haley in a statement.

"His voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration. On a personal level, I value Jim’s leadership and friendship. Our state’s loss is the Heritage Foundation’s gain. I wish Jim and Heritage all the best in continuing our shared commitment to America’s greatness.”

During a visit to Daniel Island, he referenced the new class of legislators in the state's House Delegation and suggested a worthy replacement could be found there.

Here is DeMint's full statement on resigning from the Senate and taking over the Heritage Foundation:

"It's been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it's time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America's future.

"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight. I've decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.

“I’m humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ed Feulner, who built the most important conservative institution in the nation. He has been a friend and mentor for years and I am honored to carry on his legacy of fighting for freedom.

"My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career. I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I've always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator. South Carolina has a deep bench of conservative leaders and I know Governor Haley will select a great replacement.

"One of the most rewarding things I've done in the Senate is work with the grassroots to help elect a new generation of leaders who have the courage to fight for the principles of freedom that make this country so great. I'm confident these senators will continue the legacy of conservative leaders before them."

Robert Kelly December 07, 2012 at 01:42 PM
And I am dismayed when I read so many well written letters, indicating and intelligent writer like this one above, who advocate the country going back to policies which failed miserably, and rejecting policies which worked well. I am not advocating we go back to the Eisenhower era tax policies, even though the country grew very nicely during that time, initiating the Interstate Highway system and building the world's greatest military while still avoiding deep debt. It was a model of growth, but even I think those taxes were too high. More recently the Clinton era was a period of growth and fiscal responsibility, and the country did very well. More recently than that, the Bush era was a period of successive disasters, marked by the lowest tax rates in the civilized world, coupled with incredibly wasteful military expenditures (wars) which were not even budgeted for year after year. The wealthy people in this country pay less in taxes than anywhere else in the developed world, the deficit is enormous, and extricating from these foreign wars is not easy or cheap. Condemning policies which have worked well in the past, advocating policies which led to disaster, and forcing policies which control people's lives against their will (banning marriage equality for all, government imposing personal and intimate medical decisions, criminalizing marijuana use for chemo patients, etc.) is not true conservatism.
Robert Kelly December 07, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Regarding Jim DeMint's espousing libertarian fiscal policies, isn't that a little hypocritical to be libertarian when it comes to paying the bill, but Big Government when it comes to controlling individual behavior? And tax bonanzas for people who can afford them, and corporations who take advantage of the infrastructure paid for by the citizens while avoiding taxes, does not sound libertarian to me. And invading foreign countries on a whim? Not libertarian at all. I do not think the GOP will attract young people while they continue to be anti-gay, anti-sex, and against a woman's right to control her own body. Young people support the opposite point of view on these issues by a large percentage. Old people will die; young people will realize how good it is to have health insurance. Heterosexual young people by a clear majority don't have a problem with gay couples having the right to marry. Young people by a large majority do not see marijuana use as worse than the alcohol abuse they have seen over and over. The young people I know do not think the government should base legislation on the bible. The GOP is aging and dying, but I remember how after the '64 election people thought the GOP was dead, but look what happened.
JoSCh December 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
You aren't even a good troll. Incomplete sentences? Bad grammar? You still haven't addressed DeMints lack of a record in the senate. I suggest that the next time when you have nothing to say you don't say anything. And it's spelled transparency. You can copy/paste from me if you need help.
stanley seigler December 07, 2012 at 04:08 PM
re: He was a real conservative, one who wanted to cut spending and cut government out of our lives a real (aka a TP GOP?) conservative...that's the rub... hope TGOPs got the 6NOV message...if not they will make the real GOP irrelevant for decades...and; the country needs a rational GOP...ie, IKE-like, bush1-like and even tricky dick-like (of course much less paranoid than nixon) oh/and... perhaps ACS can help T Murray out and provide just one of demint's pieces of significant legislation.
Robert Kelly December 08, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I think SC voters do not want a Senator to do anything, so DeMint fills the bill. Look at how many times Strom Thurmond was re-elected despite his complete lack of functional capability. He would be picked up by limo from Walter Reed ARmy Hospital, where he lived, and delivered to Capitol Hill when there was a vote to be taken, then returned to the hospital. I am proud that we as a nation provided appropriate living quarters for an actual war hero veteran; veterans should be supported. But why on earth did we keep re-electing him to the Senate? In any event, Jim DeMint is making a killing with his new job. Kind of like Sarah Palin in bailing out on his elected position to get a lot more money from the beloved private sector as head lobbyist for a well-heeled foundation. We won't miss him a bit.

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