DeMint founding new South Carolina think tank

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint is launching a conservative think tank in South Carolina.

DeMint said Tuesday he's investing $300,000 from his campaign account to establish the Palmetto Policy Forum to conduct research and push for conservative ideas in state government. DeMint will serve as founding chairman.

DeMint resigned from the Senate last month to take the helm of the Heritage Foundation, a national think tank based in Washington.

The Palmetto Policy Forum will be led by president and CEO Ellen Weaver, DeMint's former state director. Weaver steps into her new role March 4.

The forum is separate from the South Carolina Policy Council. That limited-government think tank has lately focused on restructuring state government and is at odds with the state's Republican leaders.

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