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A preview of DeMintís possible replacements in the Senate
RedAlertPolitics ^ | 12-6-2012 | Katie LaPotin

Posted on 12/06/2012 7:39:58 PM PST by smoothsailing

December 6, 2012

A preview of DeMint’s possible replacements in the Senate

Katie LaPotin

Senator Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) abrupt resignation today opens a seat in the upper chamber for a Palmetto State Republican to win a huge promotion.

South Carolina election law gives the state’s governor, in this case Republican Nikki Haley, the ability to appoint someone to fill DeMint’s seat after he officially resigns in January for the next two years. A special election will be held in November 2014 to determine who will serve the the final two years of DeMint’s remaining four year term.

Senior South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is also up for reelection in 2014. DeMint’s resignation likely comes as good news to Graham, who was all but guaranteed to face a stiff primary in 2014 over his positions on issues such energy policy and immigration reform. Conservatives in the state could opt to put their focus on chasing DeMint’s seat in 2014 rather than ousting Graham.

Although now squashed by a member of DeMint’s staff, early reports surfaced that DeMint’s preferred successor is Representative Tim Scott.

Scott, a Tea Party Republican first elected to Congress in 2010, would be the first African-American Republican to serve in the Senate since Edward William Brooke III of Massachusetts left office in 1980. (The last African-American to serve in the Senate, Roland Burris of Illinois, left the Senate in 2010. He was appointed in 2009 to replace then-Senator Barack Obama after his election to President.)

In a statement released this morning, Scott commented that DeMint’s “commitment to conservative principles leaves a true legacy” and that he believes Governor Haley “will make the right choice both for South Carolina and the nation” in choosing DeMint’s replacement.

Scott is not the only House member believed to be interested in the seat. Fellow freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney has long coveted a seat in Congress’ upper chamber, and was believed to consider running when DeMint left office in 2016.

“Senator DeMint has been a strong conservative voice, and he leaves big shoes to be filled…I am proud to have worked with Senator DeMint and I will continue to call him a friend and a mentor in the years to come,” Mulvaney said in a press release earlier today.

If either Scott or Mulvaney were to accept an appointment to serve in the Senate it would set off a special election for his seat in the House of Representatives.

Another possible option is for Governor Haley to appoint a placeholder rather than a long-term successor. According to The Hill some Republicans believe that Haley could choose former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, a close friend, to serve until the 2014 election.

“Being a U.S. Senator is something that’s very important that serves until 2014 – and then the people get to pick,” Dawson told The Hill earlier today. “We have a lot of conservative rock-stars in South Carolina. There is nobody who’s ever done politics who’d rule out serving the state.”

The Washington Post also names former Attorney General Henry McMaster and former Ambassador David Wilkins as others whom Haley can choose for the seat. McMaster ran for governor in 2010, but lost to Haley in the primary. After the primary, McMaster became a surrogate for Haley and helped raise money for her successful gubernatorial campaign. McMaster is also a former chair of the South Carolina Republican Party.

Another option would be for Haley to appoint herself to the seat. This would not be the first time this has happened in South Carolina. After Sen. Olin Johnston died in 1965, former South Carolina Gov. Donald Russell resigned from the governorship and his replacement, Gov. Robert McNair, appoint him to Johnston’s seat. Haley is up for reelection in 2014 and could opt to run for the U.S. Senate instead of running for a second term as Governor.

Either way, the future of South Carolina’s representation in Washington now lies in the hands of one individual – Nikki Haley.

Francesca Chambers and Lauren Luxemburg contributed to this report.

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: South Carolina
Come on Nikki, just do it!

1 posted on 12/06/2012 7:39:59 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

I think it will be Scott or Gowdy. Mulvaney is up in Indian Land, SC and is too removed from Columbia. I’m guessing Scott just because the man is rock solid conservative.

2 posted on 12/06/2012 7:49:32 PM PST by struggle (
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To: struggle

I hope it’s Scott, too.

As for DeMint, I do hope he can make strides in his new position. God bless him for all the work he has done in the past.

3 posted on 12/06/2012 7:52:08 PM PST by Thorliveshere
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To: struggle

I hope it’s Scott. I know one thing, Nikki Haley would be smart to pick him. It would help her alot with conservatives.

4 posted on 12/06/2012 7:57:28 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

I hope Tim Scott gets it and immediately forms the Senate Black Caucus with himself as the inaugural member.

5 posted on 12/06/2012 8:03:56 PM PST by Rembrandt (Part of the 51% who pay Federal taxes)
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To: Rembrandt

Sanfords ex?

6 posted on 12/06/2012 8:33:24 PM PST by DIRTYSECRET
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There are enough South Carolians to do both replace Jim and beat Lindsey

I bet she is under pressure to name Scott which is fine with me

7 posted on 12/06/2012 8:38:00 PM PST by scooby321 (AMS)
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To: struggle

Scott would be great but Gowdy has the bit in his teeth and has been on fire on the hill. He would be an impassioned voice.

8 posted on 12/06/2012 9:12:59 PM PST by KC Burke (Plain Conservative opinions and common sense correction for thirteen years. RSC)
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To: smoothsailing

Scott now, Gowdy against Graham later.

Gowdy and Graham are both upstate; whatever regional loyalties for Graham might come into play Gowdy might have a decent chance to overpower. Upstate voters are as conservative as they come, and they had the good sense to dump Bob Inglis when he went wet.

I’m still surprised Graham wasn’t primaried out the last time around.

9 posted on 12/06/2012 9:28:02 PM PST by Stosh
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To: struggle

Either Scott or Gowdy would be good. If one gets De Mint’s seat, I hope the other runs against Graham.

10 posted on 12/06/2012 9:53:52 PM PST by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
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To: Stosh
Scott now, Gowdy against Graham later.

GMTA. :)

11 posted on 12/07/2012 10:29:54 AM PST by smoothsailing
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To: scooby321

“There are enough South Carolians to do both replace Jim and beat Lindsey”

Agreed, but only if Gov. Haley names someone who will clear the field, not someone vulnerable or, even worse, a placeholder. If Haley names Congressman Tim Scott, no conservative would be foolish enough to run against him in a Senate primary in 2014 (Scott demolished the respective sons of Strom Thurmond and Carroll Campbell in the SC-01 primary in 2010, and is an even more formidable candidate today), and whichever conservative wants to go to the Senate would direct his fire at Lindsey Graham. However, if Haley names a less formidable candidate than Scott, conservatives may decide that running in the primary for that Senate seat in 2014 would be an easier race than taking on Graham and his money, and Graham may escape with less formidable competition. And if Haley named a placeholder who won’t run again in 2014, then we would be pretty much guaranteed to see everyone and his sister run in the 2014 primary for the open seat, and Graham won’t face anyone with much of a chance of beating him.

So I say name Scott to DeMint’s seat, and thus lock that seat up for 2014, and then Gowdy, Mulvaney, etc. can take on Graham and replace him with a real conservative. (Given that SC has a run-off if no one gets 50%+1 in the primary, having two or three conservatives running against Graham won’t allow him to eke out the nomination with 38% or something, since even if he finishes first he would have to beat the second-place finisher in a one-on-one run-off.)

12 posted on 12/07/2012 10:48:45 AM PST by AuH2ORepublican (If a politician won't protect innocent babies, what makes you think that he'll defend your rights?)
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