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Sen. Jim DeMint stepping down; SC Gov. Haley to appoint replacement

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By Doug Powers  •  December 6, 2012 02:00 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

This story was recently ripped from the teletype (we really need an equipment upgrade around here)…

Senator Jim DeMint (R – S.C.) has told the Wall Street Journal that he will resign his seat in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, replacing Ed Feulner. That means Governor Nikki Haley will appoint a successor, who will then have to run in a special election in 2014, in accordance with state law. That is also the year senior South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is up for reelection. Although DeMint, 61, is leaving elected office, he remains passionate about politics, saying of his next position, “This really gets my blood going again thinking about the possibilities. This is the time to elevate the conservative cause.”

CBS is reporting that Rep. Tim Scott is at or at least near the top of the list of possible Haley appointees:

A South Carolina Republican source, who asked that his or her named not be used, told CBS News that South Carolina Rep. “Tim Scott is the undisputed favorite – and probably preferred by Jim DeMint.”

“It would be historic for an Indian American governor from the Deep South to appoint an African American to the US Senate,” said the source. “I think it’s highly unlikely she would appoint a placeholder. There are too many critical votes coming in the next 24 months. Scott and DeMint are lock step on the issues.”

The source added that if Haley does appoint a placeholder, the favorites are former South Carolina attorney general Henry McMaster and former South Carolina House Speaker David Wilkins.

Also: The case for Tim Scott.

Any other DeMint replacement recommendations for Gov. Haley’s consideration, SC readers?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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