Jim DeMint

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint has announced he's leaving the Senate in January to become president of The Heritage Foundation – a conservative think tank. In a statement, DeMint says he's leaving the Senate but - quote - "not leaving the fight." 

South Carolina Republicans knew Senator DeMint planned to retire after his second term in 2016, but they hoped to have him until then.

"Senator DeMint's been a rock star for us," says South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly. "He's become an icon for the conservative movement nationwide."