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Jim DeMint's Mixed Senate Legacy (SLIDESHOW)

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday he will retire from the Senate and head off to run the Heritage Foundation, the preeminent conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.

The South Carolinian leaves quite the legacy, having pushed the type of purity politics that forced Republican members to consistently exhibit their conservative credentials. It also contributed to some of the massive amounts of gridlock in the Senate. Perhaps DeMint's most memorable moment in President Barack Obama's first term was when he declared that the pursuit of comprehensive health care reform could be become the administration's Waterloo.

How much his actions ended up benefiting the Republican Party isn't exactly clear. Health care reform, for example, ended up becoming law. And with respect to demanding purity among his fellow lawmakers, DeMint ended up with both major breakthroughs and notable misfires. While he was instrumental in the election of Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), some of his picks have backfired, handing Democrats victories.

Below is a list of the candidates that his Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee endorsed, as well as a slideshow of candidates whose races were notably shaped by DeMint.

Candidates endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund (data from

 Tom Coburn
 Oklahoma, Senate, 2010
 Todd Akin
 Missouri, Senate, 2012
 Ted Cruz
 Texas, Senate, 2012
 George Allen
 Virginia, Senate, 2012
 Jeff Flake
 Arizona, Senate, 2012
 Sharron Angle
 Nevada, Senate, 2010
 Deb Fischer
 Nebraska, Senate, 2012
 Dan Bongino
 Maryland, Senate, 2012
 Ron Johnson
 Wisconsin, Senate, 2010
 Ken Buck
 Colorado, Senate, 2010
 Mike Lee
 Utah, Senate, 2012
 Josh Mandel
 Ohio, Senate, 2012
 Rand Paul
 Kentucky, Senate, 2010
 Joe Miller
 Alaska, Senate, 2010
 Marco Rubio
 Florida, Senate, 2010
 Richard Mourdock
 Indiana, Senate, 2012
 Marlin Stutzman
 Indiana, House, 2010
 Christine O'Donnell
 Delaware, Senate, 2010
 Pat Toomey
 Pennsylvania, Senate, 2010
 John Raese
 West Virginia, Senate, 2010
 Dino Rossi
 Washington, Senate, 2010
 Tom Smith
 Pennsylvania, Senate, 2012
 Chuck Devore
 California, Senate, 2010 (lost primary)
 Ovide Lamontagne
 New Hampshire, Senate, 2010 (lost primary)
 Mark Neumann
 Wisconsin, Senate, 2012 (lost primary)
 Don Stenberg
 Nebraska, Senate, 2012 (lost primary)

Also on HuffPost:

Senators Who Can Thank Jim DeMint
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