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      State, national leaders respond to DeMint leaving Senate

      Political leaders have quickly responded following South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint's statement on resigning from the U.S. Senate to lead The Heritage Foundation.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - State and national leaders have quickly responded following South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint's statement on resigning from the U.S. Senate to lead The Heritage Foundation.

      DeMint announced he would leave the Senate at the beginning of January to become the next president of the largest conservative think tank in America Thursday.

      Governor Nikki Haley today released the following statement:

      â??U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has served South Carolina and the national conservative movement exceptionally well. His voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration. On a personal level, I value Jimâ??s leadership and friendship. Our stateâ??s loss is the Heritage Foundationâ??s gain. I wish Jim and Heritage all the best in continuing our shared commitment to Americaâ??s greatness.â??

      Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, released the following statement: â??Tea Party Patriots have been honored to work alongside Sen. DeMint for fiscal responsibility, free markets and Constitutionally limited government. While we are sad to lose a strong, conservative voice in the Senate, he will continue to be a courageous advocate for our principles in his new role. As Washington flounders in the midst of the so-called â??fiscal cliffâ?? crisis, itâ??s clear we need more leaders like Sen. DeMint to stand firm for Americans in the face of stiff opposition.â??

      South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson issued the following statement:

      "Jim DeMint has been a consistent champion of the conservative cause. I am certain he will keep fighting for freedom and federalism in his new role as head of The Heritage Foundation. While we lose his voice in the United States Senate, his support for South Carolina values will still be felt in Washington and across America. I congratulate him on his new position and look forward to continuing to work with both Senator DeMint and The Heritage Foundation in defending the Constitution and the rule of law."

      Sixth District Congressman and Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on the resignation of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.

      â??Senator DeMintâ??s resignation is not a surprise to me. He had said he would not seek re-election, and rumors have circulated in Washington for the past several months that he was headed to a conservative think tank. Joining the Heritage Foundation will allow him to more broadly apply his vision to the country's political discourse.â??

      Rep. Mulvaney released the following statement regarding Senator Jim DeMintâ??s Resignation:

      â??The news of Senator DeMintâ??s resignation from the Senate comes as a surprise. Senator DeMint has been a strong conservative voice, and he leaves big shoes to be filled. I have faith Governor Haley will appoint someone with the character, leadership, and conservatism Senator DeMint has provided South Carolinians for the past eight years. 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. I wish him the best of luck as he continues fighting for the conservative cause at The Heritage Foundation.â??