Haley "vetting" candidates to replace DeMint

Haley says she'll choose a replacement that shares Sen. DeMint's conservative values.

BAMBERG, S.C. (WACH) -- It's now up to Gov. Nikki Haley to decide who will fill South Carolina's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat, and Summerville resident Robert Menges says he should be that person.

"I'm asking her to appoint an average citizen, but an average citizen who has a command of the United States Constitution," said Menges who teaches the Constitution to high school students

He came to Bamberg to tell Gov. Haley he holds the values she's looking for in a U.S. Senator. She says he's one of many who have come to her about the vacant seat.

"We're going through a process of just vetting and trying to figure out what the right person needs to have it terms of attributes, what the state needs right now, what kind of fighter we're looking for," said Haley after having one-on-one talks Saturday with constituents in Bamberg. "So there's all types of people that have come forward."

Sen. Jim DeMint surprised the political world Thursday when he announced he will leave his position four years early. Haley says she'll choose a replacement that shares his conservative values.

"Everything that everybody saw with Senator DeMint, whether it was his fiscal conservatism, whether the fact that he understood that we needed less regulations and mandates, the fact that we can't keep having these fiscal cliffs over and over again due to extra spending -- we want somebody in there that's going to be a fighter," said Haley.

While some have speculated that she may select herself as DeMint's replacement, Haley says that will not be the case.

"I absolutely have no interest in the U.S. Senate seat now or in 2014," said Haley.

As for a time table in replacing Sen. DeMint, Gov. Haley says she'll finalize that decision when she has determined the most qualified candidate for the job. Sen. DeMint's replacement will take office January first.