Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is leaving Congress in January to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
DeMint, a staunch conservative who often clashes with party leadership, was reelected to a second term in 2010. He will depart before the new Congress is sworn in next month. “I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas,” DeMint said in a statement. “My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career.”
The senator, a vocal advocate for term limits, had already pledged not to seek a third term.
Before entering politics, DeMint worked in market research, and he told the Journal that he’s excited about taking Heritage Foundation research and working to “translate those policy papers into real-life demonstrations of things that work.”
DeMint will take over from Ed Fuelner, who has been president of the Heritage Foundation since 1977.
“Senator DeMint has done more to advance the cause of freedom and liberty in Congress than anyone else since his election,” said Chris Chocola, president of the anti-tax Club for Growth, in a statement congratulating the senator. “We wish him nothing but the best in his new role at Heritage.”