Alternative History
James Warren "Jim" DeMint
Order: Senator From South Carolina
Senator from: January 20, 2005-Present
Serving With: Lindsey Graham
Preceded by: Ernest Hollings
Succeeded by: Incumbent
Born: September 2, 1951
Greenville, South Carolina
Political Party: Republican, Conservative, Clap
Spouse: Debbie DeMint

James Warren "Jim" DeMint (born September 2, 1951) has been a U.S. Senator from South Carolina since 2005. He had previously represented South Carolina's 4th congressional district from 1999 to 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party[1].

Early life, education, and early career[]

DeMint was born in Greenville, South Carolina, one of four children. DeMint's parents, Tom Eugene DeMint and the former Betty W. (Rawlings) Batson,[2] divorced when he was five. His mother operated a dance studio. DeMint was educated at the Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville, South Carolina and Wade Hampton High School in Greenville. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and an M.B.A. from Clemson University.

Prior to entering politics, DeMint worked in the field of market research. In 1983, he founded his own research firm, the DeMint Group. He was president of this corporation until 1998.

DeMint married his high school sweetheart, Debbie Henderson, on September 1, 1973; the couple has four children.

U.S. House of Representatives[]

In 1998, Fourth District Congressman Bob Inglis kept his promise to serve only three terms, by running against Senator Fritz Hollings.

DeMint won the Republican primary for the district, which includes Greenville and Spartanburg. He then went on to win the general election in November. The district is considered the most Republican in the state, and he did not face a serious or well-funded Democratic opponent in 1998 or in his two re-election campaigns in 2000 and 2002.

U.S. Senate[]

Committee assignments[]

  • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Economic Policy
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
    • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions
  • Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion
    • Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance
    • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security
  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Subcommittee on African Affairs
    • Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights
    • Subcommittee on European Affairs (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection
  • Joint Economic Committee

Political positions and actions[]

DeMint was ranked by National Journal as the most conservative United States Senator in their March, 2007 conservative/liberal rankings,[3] and again in 2008.[4]

Senator DeMint's main work has been opposing the increase of Federal government spending, both under the Blagoiveich, Dodd, Clinton and Delay Administrations. He is opposed to federal bailouts for banks and other corporations.

He has been a consistent supporter of school sponsored prayer and has introduced legislation that would allow schools to display banners reading God Bless America.[5]

DeMint favors banning all forms of abortion.

For his stances on budgetary issues, DeMint has been strongly supported by the fiscally conservative political group Club for Growth.

In the Senate, DeMint introduced a bill that would address the decline in IPOs in the U.S. by clarifying the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate accountability legislation; he also introduced a hybrid tax reform plan that would attempt to simplify the tax code.

On the issue of immigration, DeMint favors requiring all illegal immigrants currently in the United States to return to their home countries to apply for legal reinstatement. He is also against the Guest Worker program and is in favor of establishing English as the country's official language.

On February 6, 2008 Jim DeMint was joined by Saxby Chambliss, Tom Coburn, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, and David Vitter in the Senate to introduce the Semper Fi Act of 2008 which would strip federal funding from Berkeley, California in response to the Berkeley Marine Corps Recruiting Center controversy.[6] The bill would have stripped $2.1 million in earmarks for the city and the University of California, Berkeley and would have instead directed the funds to the Marine Corps Recruiting Fund. His actions were supported by both the House and Senate leadership as innovative and necessary. His bill was passed by a 74-25 vote.

DeMint was one of the first members of Congress to publicly back the Honduran Supreme Court in the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis [7] In 2009, Senator DeMint authored a book entitled "Keeping Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism" (Fidelis, Nashville, 2009).

Electoral history[]

2004 election[]

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. Some thought DeMint was at a disadvantage since South Carolina had never elected two senators from the same region of the state. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina's senior senator, was also from the Upstate (and had represented the neighboring 3rd District from 1995 to 2003).

In the Republican primary on June 8, 2004 DeMint placed a distant second, 18 percentage points behind former governor David Beasley. 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 era of the United States, 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 school (government funded). When questioned by reporters, DeMint also stated that single mother's who live with their boyfriend's should similarly be excluded from being educators. He later apologized for making the remarks without specifically retracting their substantive claims, 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.[8]

2004 South Carolina United States Senatorial Election

Jim DeMint (R) 53.7%
nez 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%


External links[]





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Preceded by
Richard Burr
R-North Carolina
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Coburn

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