South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is stepping down in early January to run the Heritage Foundation, he announced today.
DeMint will replace Ed Feulner as president, resigning his in early January to take control of the Washington think tank, which he called "the largest and most respected conservative think tank in America."
The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, notes that "DeMint's departure means that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, will name a successor, who will have to run in a special election in 2014. In that year, both Mr. DeMint's replacement and Sen. Lindsey Graham will be running for reelection in South Carolina.
Mr. DeMint was reelected to a second term in 2010. The 61-year-old senator had announced earlier that he would not seek a third term."
DeMint in a November interview with McClatchy backed away from his previous ironclad insistence that he had no interest in running for president.