ENG: James Warren "Jim" DeMint (born September 2, 1951) is an American politician who was a United States Senator from South Carolina from 2005 to 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party and a leading member in the Tea Party movement. He previously served as the United States Representative for South Carolina's 4th congressional district from 1999 to 2005. On December 6, 2012, he announced plans to resign from the Senate on New Year's Day of 2013 to become president of The Heritage Foundation.
Early life and education
DeMint was born in Greenville, South Carolina, one of four children. His parents, Betty W. (née Rawlings) and Thomas Eugene DeMint, divorced when he was five years old.
DeMint was educated at Christ Church Episcopal School and Wade Hampton High School in Greenville. DeMint played drums for a cover band called Salt & Pepper. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee, where he was a part of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and received a MBA from Clemson University.
DeMint's wife, the former Debbie Henderson, is one of three children of Greenville advertising entrepreneur James Marvin Henderson, Sr. (1921-1995).
Following the divorce, Betty DeMint operated a dance studio out of the family's home.
DeMint worked in the field of market research. In 1983 he founded The Demint Group, a research firm based in Greenville, and ran the company until 1998 when he entered Congress.
Political campaigns - 1998 through 2002
DeMint served as an informal advisor to Fourth District congressman Bob Inglis from 1993 to 1999.
When Inglis kept his promise to serve only three terms and gave up his seat to run for the Senate against Fritz Hollings. DeMint entered the Republican primary for the district, which includes Greenville and Spartanburg. The district is considered the most Republican in the state, and it was understood that whoever won the primary would be heavily favored to be the district's next congressman.
DeMint finished second in the primary behind State Senator and fellow Greenville resident Michael Fair, even though he didn't carry a single county in the district. In the runoff, DeMint defeated Fair by only 2,030 votes. He then defeated Democratic State Senator Glenn Reese with 57 percent of the vote to Reese's 40 percent--to date, the only time since 1992 that a Democrat has crossed the 40 percent mark in this district since Inglis recaptured it for the Republicans in 1992.
DeMint faced no major-party opposition in 2000, and defeated an underfunded Democrat in 2002.
DeMint declared his candidacy for the Senate on December 12, 2002, after Hollings announced that he would retire after the 2004 elections. DeMint was supposedly the White House's preferred candidate in the Republican primary.
In the Republican primary on June 8, 2004, DeMint placed a distant second, 18 percentage points behind former governor David Beasley and just barely ahead of Thomas Ravenel. Ravenel endorsed DeMint in the following runoff. DeMint won the runoff handily, however.
DeMint then faced Democratic state education superintendent Inez Tenenbaum in the November general election. DeMint led Tenenbaum through much of the campaign and ultimately defeated her by 9.6 percentage points.
DeMint's win meant that South Carolina was represented by two Republican Senators for the first time since Reconstruction, when Thomas J. Robertson and John J. Patterson served together as Senators.
DeMint stirred controversy during debates with Tenenbaum when he stated his belief that openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools. When questioned by reporters, DeMint also stated that single mothers who live with their boyfriends should similarly be excluded from being educators. He later apologized for making the remarks, saying they were "distracting from the main issues of the debate." He also noted that these were opinions based on his personal values, not issues he would or could deal with as a member of Congress.
In a 2008 interview, he said that while government does not have the right to restrict homosexuality, it also should not encourage it through legalizing same-sex marriage, due to the "costly secondary consequences" to society from the prevalence of certain diseases among homosexuals.
Jim DeMint (R) 53.7%
Inez Tenenbaum (D) 44.1%
Patrick Tyndall (Constitution) 0.8%
Rebekah Sutherland (Libertarian) 0.7%
Tee Ferguson (United Citizens Party) 0.4%
Efia Nwangaza (Green) 0.3%
DeMint won re-nomination in the Republican Party primary. Democratic Party opponent Alvin Greene won an upset primary victory over Vic Rawl, who was heavily favored. Due to various electoral discrepancies, Greene received scrutiny from Democratic Party officials, with some calling for Greene to withdraw or be replaced. DeMint consistently led Greene by more than 30 points throughout the campaign and won reelection by a landslide.
Prior to the 2010 elections, DeMint founded the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), a political action committee that is "dedicated to electing strong conservatives to the United States Senate" and that is associated with the Tea Party movement. As of February 2011, DeMint continued to serve as Chair of SCF, which states that it raised $9.1 million toward the 2010 U.S. Senate elections and which endorsed successful first-time Senate candidates Pat Toomey, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio. DeMint also supported Joe Miller of Alaska through the SCF. Miller was an attorney and former federal magistrate and the Tea Party's candidate opposing Lisa Murkowski the incumbent senator in the Alaska primary. Miller won in a close election, however Murkowski ran as a write in candidate and won the election by 39.1% to Miller's 35.1% and by a popular vote of 101,091 to 90,839 respectively.
On October 1, 2010, DeMint, in comments that echoed what he had said in 2004, told a rally of his supporters that openly homosexual and unmarried sexually active people should not be teachers. In response, the National Organization for Women, the National Education Association, the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, GOProud, a GOP group, and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force asked for Demint’s apology.
The Heritage Foundation
In December 6, 2012, he announced he will resign from the Senate before the new 113th Congress begins in early January 2013 to become president of The Heritage Foundation. On December 17, 2012, South Carolina's governor Nikki Haley announced that she would name Congressman Tim Scott to the seat the U.S. Senate from which DeMint resigned. A special election will be held on November 4, 2014 fill the remainder of the term.
January 23, 2013