Sen. Jim DeMint leaving Congress to lead the Heritage Foundation

Washington: United States’ Sen. Jim DeMint, conservative from South Carolina who often clashes with Republican Party leadership, will resign before the new Congress is sworn in next month to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, reported Wall Street Journal..

James Warren “Jim” DeMint is the junior United States Senator since 2005 from South Carolina, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party and a leading member in the Tea Party movement.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) will appoint DeMint’s successor, who will serve until a 2014 special election. That means two Senate races in the Palmetto State that year. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) — targeted by many of the conservatives who love DeMint — is up for reelection. DeMint’s surprising move appears to be a break for Graham, who may see potential primary rivals flock to the open seat instead of challenging him.

Before entering politics, DeMint worked in market research, and he told the Journal that he’s excited about taking Heritage Foundation research and working to “translate those policy papers into real-life demonstrations of things that work.”

Heritage Chairman of the Board Thomas A. Saunders, in a statement, praised DeMint’s “passion for rigorous research, his dedication to the principles of our nation’s founding, and his ability to translate policy ideas into action.”

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