Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who surprised his colleagues when he announced Thursday he will leave the Senate to head a conservative orginization, said he expects his successor to be named within the next week.
DeMint’s replacement in the Senate will be selected by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican.
In an interview Thursday, DeMint said the decision is completely up to Haley. “I told Governor Haley that I would support her recommendation and that I trusted her,” he said. “It’s her decision, not mine.”
Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for Haley, declined comment on whom she might name.”Today is about Sen. DeMint’s service to our state and nation, and that’s where the focus should remain,” he said.
DeMint, a hero of the tea party movement who occasionally clashed with GOP leaders he found insufficiently conservative, will leave the Senate in January to take the top job at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The foundation, based in Washington, said DeMint will take over as president in April. DeMint will manage a staff of 250 with an annual budget of more than $80 million.