SC Gov: DeMint Won’t Be Replaced With ‘Placeholder’ Appointee

Since Senator Jim DeMint announced that he would be leaving the Senate in order to become the next president of the Heritage Foundation, there has been a lot of speculation as to who would become his replacement. The focus falls on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as she will appoint someone to take DeMint’s place and according to many conservatives that someone is Rep. Tim Scott. However, some have speculated that Haley will appoint a “placeholder” candidate to serve until the 2014 elections.

Governor Haley released a statement today in regards to the appointment:

“As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a ‘placeholder’ appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014. While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it.

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“I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office. I do not want to deprive our state’s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee’s performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state’s new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it.

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“I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a ‘placeholder.’”

DeMint has been known as one of the most conservative senators on Capitol Hill. He will be leaving office in January to takeover as President of the Heritage Foundation and the current President, Ed Feulner, who helped to build the conservative think tank, will step down in April. He will then serve as Chancellor of the Foundation and Chairman at the Heritage Asian Studies Center.

Demint said that he trusts Governor Haley’s judgment in appointing someone to fill the office. “I told Governor Haley that I would support her recommendation and that I trusted her,” he said. “It’s her decision, not mine.”

Many pundits have floated the idea that DeMint is leaving the Senate in order to make a run for the White House in 2016.

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