DeMint will leave Senate to head Heritage Foundation - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

DeMint will leave Senate to head Heritage Foundation

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South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, an influential Republican who has helped prod his party rightward, will step down from his seat in January to become the next director of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

DeMint announced Thursday that he planned to succeed Ed Feulner, the longtime head of the Heritage Foundation, next month. The news of his departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight. I've decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas," DeMint said in a statement. "No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come."

Since being elected to the Senate in 2004, DeMint has not-infrequently clashed with Republican leaders on specific pieces of legislation and the overall direction of the party. His conservative obstinance made him a hero among the party's grassroots.

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