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Jim DeMint Resigns from the U.S. Senate

1:31 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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Jim DeMint (Getty Images)

Washington, DC (WLTX) - South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint is resigning from the U.S. Senate to lead a Washington thinktank.

DeMint confirmed his resignation Thursday morning in a statement.

"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," he said in a statement.

DeMint will leave at the beginning of January. The Heritage Foundation is a convervative thinktank.

"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."

DeMint has served in the Senate since 2005. He'd earlier represented South Carolina's Fourth Congressional District from 1999 to 2005. For some time, DeMint had said that he likely wouldn't seek re-election when his term expired in 2016.

Governor Nikki Haley would have to appoint his successor.

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

DeMint will have one final major decision before leaving office: he will cast a vote on whatever deal is reached between the White House and Congress on the so-called 'fiscal cliff.'

Here is DeMint's full statement:

"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."

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