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  DeMint: A conservative kingmaker upends GOP order
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Last EditedRP  May 11, 2010 03:17pm
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AuthorBEN EVANS
MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateTuesday, May 11, 2010 03:15:00 PM UTC0:0
Description Jim DeMint is becoming something of a tea party hero, even a potential conservative kingmaker, a status that is not making the freshman senator many friends among fellow Republicans in Congress.

A backbencher known for his eagerness to challenge the Republican establishment, DeMint is becoming one of the most influential voices of the conservative rebellion that's shaking up GOP primaries. Tapping an anti-incumbent fervor, the South Carolina lawmaker is a coveted - and feared - endorsement, funneling money and grass-roots energy to long-shot candidates who threaten Washington's GOP favorites.

His efforts, highly unusual for a freshman, have upset senators on Capitol Hill, where he's viewed by many as an ideologue willing to purge centrist veterans.

Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Senate committee to get Republicans elected, said DeMint may be hurting the party's ability to regain power in Washington.
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