Haley narrows DeMint successor choices to 5 - FOX Carolina 21

Haley narrows DeMint successor choices to 5

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

A person close to Gov. Nikki Haley says the chief executive has narrowed her choice to five finalists to replace U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.

Her short list means South Carolina could have its first black U.S. senator or first female senator.

The person with knowledge of the process says the Republican governor is choosing among U.S. Reps. Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy, former first lady Jenny Sanford, state agency director Catherine Templeton, and former state Attorney General Henry McMaster.

The person requested anonymity because the person isn't authorized to speak about the choice publicly.

DeMint announced last week that he was resigning to take the helm of a national conservative think tank.

State law gives Haley sole authority to pick his replacement until 2014, when voters will choose who fulfills the final two years of DeMint's term.

Ambassador says he's not interested in DeMint's seat

Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada  David Wilkins, who was widely considered to be at the top of the list of DeMint replacements, said he isn't interested in the seat.

Wilkins told FOX Carolina that he didn't want to put his family through the campaign that would be necessary to retain the seat in 2014.

The ambassador said he is confident that Haley has a lot of good choices, and that she will pick the right one to take DeMint's place.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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SIDEBAR - Jim DeMint

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Born in Greenville, SC, on Sep. 2, 1951.Attended school at Christ Church Episcopal, Wade Hampton High and the University of Tennessee.In 1983, founded the DeMint Group, a marketing research firm.Elected More>>

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