Jim DeMint Leaving the Senate He'll become head of the Heritage Foundation By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Dec 6, 2012 10:04 AM CST 61 comments Comments Jim DeMint is seen in this file photo. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (Newser) – Jim DeMint is resigning his Senate post so he can take a gig as president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, he announced today. DeMint will step down in early January, the Wall Street Journal reports. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will appoint an interim replacement until a special election can be held in 2014. DeMint, who was reelected in 2010, had already announced that he wouldn't seek a third term. He says he's taking the job at the influential think tank in the hopes that he can "elevate the conservative cause" and bring it to the masses. "This is an urgent time," he said, "because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections." But he also vowed to "protect the integrity of Heritage's research and not politicize the policy component."