Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C announced Thursday morning he will leave the Senate at the beginning of January to become the next president of the conservative think tank. File/AP
Sen. Jim DeMint speaks after a caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill with, among others, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee (from left), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and fellow South Carolinian Lindsey Graham.
Jim Demint (green shirt), running for the U. S. Senate seat against Inez Tenenbaum, attends the Berkeley County Republican party breakfast meeting at the American Legion hall in Goose Creek on September 4, 2004. From left, Tim Scott, Charleston County Council Chairman, Congressman Demint, Congressman Henry Brown (seated) and Charles Caldwell of Moncks Corner. (Wade Spees/Staff)
First lady Laura Bush, center, walks with Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and his wife Debbie, left, at the airport in Columbia, S.C., on Sept. 17, 2004, prior to heading to a private fundraiser for DeMint who is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen Fritz Hollings, D-S.C. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)
Sen. Jim DeMint (left) met Friday with Honduran interim president Roberto Micheletti in what an aide called “”fact-finding”” talks in Tegucigalpa on Oct. 2, 2009.
U.S. Senator Jim DeMint arrives to a cheering crowd at the Westin Poinsett Hotel in Greenville after being declared the winner in his re-election bid.
Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.,left, talks with Jones Barton, general manufacturing supervisor for 3M's Adhesives and Tapes Division, during a plant tour, Friday, July 16, 2004, in Greenville, S.C. DeMint a Republican canidate for the U.S. Senate, met with plant employees during the visit. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley, right, applauds Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., left, at a news conference in Columbia, S.C., Wednesday, June 30, 2004, where he endorsed DeMint's bid for the U.S. Senate. Beasley lost to DeMint in last week's Republican runoff primary. DeMint faces Democrat Inez Tenenbaum in November seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C. Second from right applaudiing is South Carolina Speaker David Wilkins. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, to discuss the introduction of legislation to enact a one-year earmark moratorium and a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment on Feb. 4, 2010.
Against the backdrop of a painting of President Ronald Reagan, Sen. Jim DeMint (right) speaks at a RedState meeting Friday at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston on August 12, 2011.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to the press about the appointment of federal judges during a news conference with Senate candidate Rep. Jim DeMint, right, at the Federal courthouse in Greenville, S.C. on Oct. 21, 2004
U.S. Senator Jim DeMint arrived to a cheering crowd at the Westin Poinsett Hotel in Greenville after being declared the winner in his re-election bid.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., right, speaks about the bankruptcy of General Motors as Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., looks on, Wednesday, June 3, 2009, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Inez Tenenbaum, left, and Republican candidate Jim DeMint shake hands after their debate in Alumni Hall at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. on October 3, 2004. (Mic Smith/The Post and Courier)