State officials react to DeMint’s resignation

South Carolina state officials are sounding off on Thursday’s announcement that U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint is resigning from the Senate.

“U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint has served S.C. and the national conservative movement exceptionally well. His voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Haley will name a successor for DeMint, who said he will leave the Senate at the beginning of January.

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., expressed his confidence that Haley’s appointment will be the right choice for both the state and the nation.

State GOP Party Chairman Chad Connelly said DeMint changed the way Washington works “without question.”

“Sen. DeMint is a conservative rock star,” Connelly said.

DeMint, R-S.C., announced his resignation from the U.S. Senate in order to lead The Heritage Foundation, according to a press release.

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of S.C. in the U.S. Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future,” DeMint said in a statement.

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a think tank that promotes conservative public policies.

Thomas Saunders, chairman of the Heritage board of directors, said DeMint will build on the group’s standing as “the flagship organization of the entire conservative movement” when he replaces current Heritage head Edwin Feulner.

DeMint said he’s confident that S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will appoint “a great replacement” for him.

He was elected to the U.S. House in 1998 and served six years before winning the 2004 Senate election to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Fritz Hollings.