BREAKING: Sen. Jim DeMint will step down from Senate – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

Elected in 2004, DeMint was re-elected in 2010. His term was not up until 2016. Haley, a Republican, will name a successor. A special election will be held in 2014 for the last two years of his term.DeMint had always planned on leaving after two terms, according to a DeMint adviser."This move puts him in a powerful position to further advance fiscal conservative principles," the adviser said.DeMint, a kingmaker among conservatives, is highly influential and well-beloved in the tea party movement, and has been a thorn in the side of establishment Republicans. In 2009, he was the first to endorse Marco Rubio of Florida in his 2010 Senate bid, at the time that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was backing Florida Gov. Charlie Christ.