Nikki Haley will appoint DeMint successor 'quickly'
December 7th, 2012
10:38 AM ET
2 years ago

Nikki Haley will appoint DeMint successor 'quickly'

(CNN) - South Carolina's Republican governor said Friday she was working quickly to appoint a replacement to retiring Sen. Jim DeMint's seat in the U.S. Senate, writing she was looking to put a similar-minded conservative in the Upper Chamber.

"Appointing a new member of the U.S. Senate is a solemn duty, and I take this responsibility with utmost seriousness. I will make this decision in a manner that is thoughtful and dignified, but also quickly," Gov. Nikki Haley wrote Friday.

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One person she wasn't looking to appoint, Haley reiterated, was herself.

"I want to make two things clear from the outset. Number one, I will not take the appointment myself. Number two, I will appoint a person who has the same philosophy of government that Jim DeMint and I share," she said. "With all the challenges we face as a state and nation, it is essential that the next senator from South Carolina be dedicated to the principles that our state most values."

DeMint announced Thursday he was retiring from the Senate after seven years to serve as president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

All eyes are now on Haley as the South Carolina governor decides whom to name to fill DeMint's seat. The senator has made it known in Columbia that he wants Rep. Tim Scott to be appointed to his seat, sources told CNN. If named, he would be the Senate's only African-American member.

Sources in South Carolina told CNN Thursday that DeMint has told a handful of confidantes that he would like to see Scott appointed to the seat but official DeMint staff members in Washington are pushing back at the suggestion he's trying to influence her decision.

In a statement Thursday, Haley applauded DeMint's service in the upper chamber, saying he has served "the national conservative movement exceptionally well."

Thanking DeMint for his service, Scott said in a statement "Governor Haley will now appoint a new Senator, and I know she will make the right choice both for South Carolina and the nation."

Rep. Mick Mulvaney is another name being floated as a potential replacement for DeMint. The congressman also said he has "faith Gov. Haley will appoint someone with the character, leadership, and conservatism Senator DeMint has provided South Carolinians for the past eight years."

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Ashley Killough, Peter Hamby and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Jim DeMint • Nikki Haley
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F

    How long will it take to appoint herself?

    December 7, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. DaveC

    A wing nut replacing a wing nut. That inspires confidence. I feel a grand jury investigation coming already.

    December 7, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "All eyes are now on Haley as the South Carolina governor decides whom to name to fill DeMint's seat."

    Why? Because her rising star is ever so close to burning itself out?

    It's not as if she isn't going to pick a Conservative Republican TeaPer to fill DeMint's ... seat.

    A side note: I'd probably have gone with "to fill DeMint's shoes".

    December 7, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "How long will it take to appoint herself?"

    If she's going to, she probably needs a few days...maybe the weekend...to have someone else in the GOP/Teatrolls get the idea out into the public discourse. Even if it's just a lame attempt to make it look like she was "recruited" to do it, she'll still need some cover.

    BTW, CNN, are you going to report about any of the controversies she has herself embroiled in regartding abuse of her gubernatorial powers and such? Or are we steering away from that so she can be presented as something she's not?

    December 7, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Sniffit

    ""I want to make two things clear from the outset. Number one, I will not take the appointment myself. Number two, I will appoint a person who has the same philosophy of government that Jim DeMint and I share,""

    Translation: "We'll start the bidding at ....."

    December 7, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Data Driven

    Meh. One wingnut looks and smells like another. My sympathies to the sane people in that state.

    December 7, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Mark in Seattle

    Nikki is probably working up a way to appoint that witch from Delaware.

    December 7, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. California Gary

    That appointment she is holding if "f'ing gold".........she should try to get something for it. It worked well in Illinois.......

    December 7, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Publius Novus

    I'm really glad Gov. Haley takes "this responsibility with untmost seriousness." I was really hoping that she wasn't going to do it as a prank. Buy low, sell high.

    December 7, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Emerson

    With all the challenges we face as a state and nation, it is essential that the next senator from South Carolina be dedicated to the principles that our state most values."

    December 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Facts don't Lie

    if you decide to appoint yourself ma'am please produce your birth certificate..the LONG form so the Donald Trumps of the world won't go on attack.

    December 7, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    How much money do you want to bet that Demint will name his own successor behind the scenes? Gov. Haley will simply announce his choice.

    December 7, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Appointing a new member of the U.S. Senate is a solemn duty, and I take this responsibility with utmost seriousness.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Too bad you don't feel as strongly about being a good Governor as you do about making sure that your Party keeps its numbers in the Senate.

    December 7, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Stu

    Selling the seat of a vacating Senator? Clearly some of you self-righteous Dems have forgotten that is exactly what your buddy Rod Blagojevich tried to do with Obama's.

    December 7, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Conner

    Colbert... pardon me... Senator Colbert (R-SC) is the only plausible candidate. #SENATORCOLBERT

    December 7, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "A side note: I'd probably have gone with "to fill DeMint's shoes"."

    Meh...seat, shoes...what's the diff...they're both filled feces anyway.

    December 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. pcalif

    Haley will do as she is told by the Tea Party honchos. She really doesn't have a lot to say about who she appoints.

    December 7, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. TY

    She needs to go too.......... She is a want of be..........

    December 7, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |