He did not start out a conservative fighter. He was no warrior when he first arrived on Capitol Hill in 1999. Jim DeMint had replaced Rep. Bob Inglis in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. Inglis had vacated the seat to run a losing race against Senator Ernest Hollins.
DeMint’s tenure started out like that of most freshmen congressmen — anonymous and committed to bringing home the bacon, much like Rep. Inglis who, when Senator DeMint moved up to the Senate, moved back into his old House seat until the tea party movement threw him out in 2010.