Nikki Haley: Senate pick doesn’t need experience

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) opened up a bit Wednesday on how she would pick a replacement for Sen. Jim DeMint (R). 

“It is not about time in office, which I think is the wrong way of looking at government,” Haley told South Carolina reporters. “It’s the effect and the result they can show in office.”

Two of the potential Senate appointees on Haley's short list, former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford and state Department of Health and Environmental Control director Christine Templeton, have no experience in elected office. 

Haley herself had no political history when she was elected to the state House in 2004. She came from the business world, like Sanford. 

The governor also suggested that no replacement would be another DeMint, who has bedeviled GOP leadership throughout his eight-year tenure.

“We are never going to find someone as conservative and staunch as Jim DeMint,” she said. “What I think we will find is someone who understands the state of South Carolina and the crisis we’re going through.”

DeMint is leaving the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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Rachel Weiner · December 13, 2012