COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said she won’t make her appointee to the U.S. Senate promise not to run for the seat in 2014.
Although Haley still hasn’t said whom she is considering for the seat left open by the resignation of Jim DeMint at the end of the year, she sent out another news release Monday narrowing her parameters.
“I do not want to tie the next U.S. senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office,” Haley said. “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.”
Haley said Friday she would not run for U.S. Senate in 2014 and wouldn’t arrange to have herself appointed to replace DeMint.
The governor said she thinks the best way to give the person she chooses a chance to do the best job is to not put any restrictions on the appointment.
“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.
DeMint announced he will resign from the U.S. Senate at the end of the year to take over the leadership of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Haley’s appointee will take over through 2014, when an election will be held for the final two years of DeMint’s term.
South Carolina’s other U.S. senator, Lindsey Graham, is up for re-election in 2014. So is the governor.
Several names have emerged as possibilities for the seat, including U.S. Reps. Tim Scott, Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan. – three congressmen recently re-elected to a second term. The fourth member of that class, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, has taken his name out of consideration.
Other names being mentioned are former state Attorney General Henry McMaster and former South Carolina House Speaker David Wilkins, although both those candidates were considered possible caretakers to keep the seat open for the 2014 election.