South Carolina: Haley Rejects Placeholder, Putting Focus Squarely on Scott
Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina has rejected the possibility that she will appoint a temporary caretaker to replace Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who is resigning effective in January.
“I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office,” she wrote in a statement Monday. “I do not want to 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’s statement served to further ratchet up speculation that Rep. Tim Scott will be the likely Senate appointee. The governor is scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday in Charleston, which is in Scott’s congressional district.
A caretaker appointee would not have run in the November 2014 special election to fill the remainder of DeMint’s current term. If Scott is appointed to the Senate seat, he is not expected to face a difficult primary or general election in 2014. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will also be on the ballot for re-election in November of next year.