Haley plans no 'placeholder' for DeMint's Senate seat
December 10th, 2012
01:52 PM ET
10 years ago

Haley plans no 'placeholder' for DeMint's Senate seat

Washington (CNN) - After spending the weekend considering replacements for retiring Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced Monday that she will not appoint a "placeholder" senator who will hold the office until a special election is held in 2014.

"As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a 'placeholder' appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014," Haley said in a statement released by her office. "While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it."

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DeMint announced last week that he is resigning his seat to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

Under state law, it's now Haley's duty to name a replacement for the tea party icon. She has promised to act quickly.

National conservatives have urged her to appoint Rep. Tim Scott, an African-American congressman from the Charleston area who was elected to Congress in 2010 on a tea party wave. He and other members of the state's congressional delegation are close to DeMint.

But Haley had also mulled the idea of naming an elder GOP statesman from South Carolina - someone like former state Attorney General Henry McMaster or former Ambassador David Wilkins - to fill out the remainder of DeMint's term.

She ruled out that option Monday.

"I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina's hands regarding future office," Haley said. "I do not want to deprive our state's citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee's performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state's new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it.

"I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a 'placeholder.'"

One clue she might pick Scott: Haley has scheduled a press conference tomorrow at noon in the congressman's hometown of North Charleston. She will talk to reporters after touring a Boeing plant there.

Filed under: Jim DeMint • Nikki Haley • Senate • South Carolina • Tim Scott
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Yeoomala

    But I thought you and your cronies were for limited government – oh that's right – I forgot – only when it is something you don't like.

    December 10, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Well, if she's not going to appoint herself, she might as well try to delay and milk the decision for publicity, right?

    December 10, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. MaryM

    Haley, No matter which Tea Party person you appoint, THey will be defeated in 2014.

    December 10, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. judy

    she will pick Brown. That's the repo idea of being inclusive. policy doesn't seem to matter . Now they will wonder why everyone can't get behind this guy. Such diversity astounds me. What next another woman on a committe

    December 10, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Let's Move Forward

    DeMint was a placeholder, never did anything for his state or the country.

    December 10, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Bob

    A token appointing a token. But they aren't racist, oh no.

    December 10, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. v_mag

    It's not good to give a governor power like this. She is in a position to launch or advance someone's political career, and that person will forever be beholden to her. If she were forced to appoint someone who pledged not to run for the office later, it would be better. Or if another election were held. As it is, Haley gets to be the king-maker.

    December 10, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    Wow, what a profile in courage. She "rejects the option of a placeholder". We were all holding our breath.

    December 10, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Haley can appoint whomever she wants to serve until 2014. After that the voters get to decide. My goodness, the way she's showing her ... well her, points ... she could drag this thing out until 2014 and still be none the wiser herself.

    December 10, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. aaron

    She must be looking for publicity. No governor doing his/her job would appoint a senator who would sit and do nothing for 2 years anyway. Of course, she'll appoint another teabagger to ensure the gridlock in Washington continues.

    December 10, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    This lady is an idiot. Jim Demint exit is good for the state and nation.

    December 10, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Haley is a good Republican. She'll do what's best for Demint.

    December 10, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Wilson

    A token appointing a token. But they aren't racist, oh no.
    And by that statement you prove yourself to be the racist.

    December 10, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would hope that her replacement is someone who understands that compromise is needed to get the work of the people done. DeMint didn't do much and flapped his lips far too often with nothing other than ideological driven drivel.

    December 10, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    @gurgyl, stop typing so that I sound like I don't have two brain cells to rub together!!

    December 10, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Good for you dupe......

    December 10, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. BigTBone

    This is the state where Bob Inglis was forced out for not being cuckoo conservative enough.

    I have no hesitation in calling Tim Scott a party shill/selllout/uncle tom. Many of his original supporters believe he has changed dramatically since becoming a representative.

    His biggest achievement is voting to defund the ACA. Big surprise from these partisan hacks...

    December 10, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |