On Monday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she will not appoint a “placeholder” to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who is leaving the Senate next month to head the Heritage Foundation.
“As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a ‘placeholder’ appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014,” Haley said. “While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it.”
Haley said she did not want to “tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office” and “deprive our state’s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee’s performance by way of their vote.”
“Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state’s new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it,” Haley said. “I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a ‘placeholder.'”
Last week, there were reports Haley would appoint former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster as a “placeholder” to DeMint’s seat. Conservatives have encouraged Haley to appoint Rep. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) to the seat.
On Tuesday, Haley will hold a “media availability” at a Boeing welcome center in North Charleston, South Carolina, which is in Scott’s district. It is not known whether Haley will make an announcement concerning the Senate appointment.
By law, Haley must appoint a senator to DeMint’s seat for a two-year term before the state holds a special election in 2014 for a full six-year term.