Ambassador Wilkins 'flattered' by Senate rumours

Former US ambassador to Canada David Wilkins



WASHINGTON, DC - Ambassador David Wilkins says he's "flattered" he is being talked about as a possible replacement for Jim DeMint in the US senate.

But Wilkins, the former US ambassador to Canada under president George W. Bush, told QMI Agency Friday he hasn't spoken to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley about the possible appointment.

DeMint, a staunch fiscal conservative senator, announced Thursday he was leaving Congress at the end of the month to head up the conservative Heritage Foundation think-tank.
Under South Carolina law, Haley has to appoint a replacement until a special election is held in 2014.

Wilkins, who served as Speaker of South Carolina's state legislature for 11 years and was a state lawmaker for 25 years, is one of several possible candidates being considered for the vacant seat.

"I'm flattered my name is being batted about a little bit, but I'm not seeking it and nor have I talked to the governor about it," Wilkins told QMI Agency Friday. "I don't want to say I would or wouldn't (accept it). I certainly would be flattered, and if I got that phone call, the first thing I'd do is have a very serious family meeting with my wife and the children and decide what to do."

In 2010, Wilkins, a practising lawyer and lives in Greenville, was talked about as a possibly candidate for governor but announced he would not run.

Haley hasn't confirmed when she'll make a decision, but observers expect one before the new year when DeMint's seat will be vacant.

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