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Officials React to Sen. Jim DeMint's Resignation

Gov. Haley: "His voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration."

Reaction to U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's resignation.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley:

“U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has served South Carolina and the national conservative movement exceptionally well. 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.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.):

"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."

S.C. Republican Party Chair Chad Connelly:

"Jim DeMint is a small businessman who ran for Congress to change the way Washington works. Without question, he succeeded. Senator DeMint is a conservative rock star. At the Heritage Foundation, he will be in an even greater position to spark revolutionary change. I commend his principled leadership and service to our state. Thank you, Senator."

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.):  

"Jim Demint was more than a congressional colleague.  He has been a friend dating back to 1998 when I met him during his initial run for congress. He has been a mentor for scores of conservatives at all levels of government. He is simply put one of the most decent, kind, humble men I have ever been privileged to know. I wish he and Debbie joy in this new role." 

"I know Governor Nikki Haley will make the decision that is best for South Carolina, and I pray the Lord will give her wisdom. There are scores of talented women and men in South Carolina who are qualified to be considered. I hope she will consider my four congressional colleagues Tim Scott, Mick Mulvaney, Jeff Duncan, or Joe Wilson."  

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.):

“Senator DeMint has been a conservative champion and a dedicated public servant to the nation. Jim has always been someone I've admired, and I'm proud to call him a friend. Jim's leadership and voice will be deeply missed in the United States Senate and in South Carolina. I’m excited for him as he begins his new role with the Heritage Foundation, and grateful that he's continuing the fight in other ways."

"Whoever takes Jim's place in the Senate will have large shoes to fill. I hope that person is committed to the same values of limited government, free markets, and individual liberties that Sen. DeMint has championed for so many years. I'll be praying for Gov. Haley to select a leader who believes in the principles that Jim has fought so hard to defend."

Charleston County Democratic Party Chair Richard Hricik:

"I'm thrilled that Jim DeMint has resigned from the U.S. Senate. He has done nothing to serve the people of South Carolina, in particular the people of Charleston County. He stood in the way of our port being deepened, blocking progress here just like  he's hindered progress for our country.

He is the worst kind of partisan politician who puts ideology above all else. That's why it's good to be rid of him. He's better off running the Heritage Foundation."

S.C. State Sen. John Courson (R-21):

"I was stunned to hear the news. I haven't agreed with him on all the issues, but he's certainly been a good steward for South Carolina. The governor has a very tough decision ahead of her. Whoever she picks will have to run again in 2014 and traditionally in South Carolina when you win a Senate seat you keep it for a long time."

S.C. State Rep Nathan Ballentine (R-71):

(The National Journal named Ballentine as a dark-horse candidate to be appointed as DeMint's replacement by Gov. Haley)

"I was shocked to hear the news, but as far as me being considered I don't think that's in the realm of possibility and it's something I'm not even thinking about."

S.C. State Sen. Tom Davis (R-46):

"There is battle going on right now for the soul of the Republican Party, and the stakes are extremely high. Will the GOP truly be the party of cutting the size and scope of government and expanding individual liberty and economic freedom, or will it be the party of compromise and accommodation, one that is willing to increase taxes "for the good of the country?"

"There has never been any question as to what side of that ideological divide Sen. Jim DeMint stands; he has long been a warrior in the United States Senate for restricting government and empowering people. And thanks to Sen. DeMint’s willingness to challenge the status quo Republican leadership, we now have true conservative champions like Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz serving alongside him in D.C.

"Today’s news that Sen. DeMint is leaving the United States Senate, in the middle of the debate on how Congress should respond to the so-called “fiscal cliff,” is akin to an army losing a general in the midst of battle, and it is my hope that Gov. Nikki Haley swiftly appoints someone to serve in his stead who is just as committed to the liberty movement, and who is just as willing to stand for what is right as opposed to what is politically expedient."

Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots:

“Tea Party Patriots have been honored to work alongside Sen. DeMint for fiscal responsibility, free markets and Constitutionally limited government.  While we are sad to lose a strong, conservative voice in the Senate, he will continue to be a courageous advocate for our principles in his new role.  As Washington flounders in the midst of the so-called “fiscal cliff” crisis, it’s clear we need more leaders like Sen. DeMint to stand firm for Americans in the face of stiff opposition.”

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