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Nikki Haley Says She Won't Appoint 'Placeholder' to Senate

1:51 PM, Dec 10, 2012   |    comments
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Nikki Haley

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Governor Nikki Haley said Monday she won't appoint a "placeholder" to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint.

Haley issued a statement Monday clarifying her thinking as she considers who will take over for the junior senator. Some have speculated the governor could appoint someone who would serve only two years until the special election set for 2014.

Haley, though, said she rejects that idea.

"While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it," she said in a written statement. "I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina's hands regarding future office. 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.

DeMint announced last Thursday he is resigning at the end of the year after eight years in the Senate. He'll take over the leadership of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative thinktank.

Here is Haley's full statement from Monday: 

"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. While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it.

"I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina's hands regarding future office. 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.

"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.'"

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