Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, announced on Thursday before Heritage Foundation staffers that he would be the new president of the conservative Washington D.C. think tank. Since making the announcement that he would be resigning from his seat, speculations as to who would replace him has already grown around Capitol Hill. According to The Hill, DeMint would like to see Rep. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, succeed him:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has made it known in South Carolina that he wants Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to replace him in the Senate, two state Republican sources tell The Hill.
The sources, requesting anonymity to speak candidly, say Scott is DeMint’s preference for the seat, though the final decision will be Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R). She will appoint someone to serve out the rest of DeMint’s term after he officially resigns from the Senate to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation in January. An election for the seat will then be held in 2014 for the remaining two years of the term.
Scott told The Hill earlier this week that he would not challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a 2014 primary. The conversation occurred before DeMint had made public his decision to leave the Senate and create an open-seat race in the state.
If chosen, Scott would become the first African-American Republican senator since Sen. Edward Brooke (R-Mass.) retired in the late 1970s, and the only African-American in the next Senate.
Congressman Scott released a statement on Thursday regarding Sen DeMint’s resignation from Congress saying:
“I first want to thank Senator DeMint for the tremendous work he has done on behalf of South Carolina and the nation. His commitment to conservative principles leaves a true legacy, and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know and work with him over the past two years.
“Looking forward, Governor Haley will now appoint a new Senator, and I know she will make the right choice both for South Carolina and the nation.”