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But as a newly independent group, DeMint will no longer be able to formally exert control over or coordinate with the group. That means that while he'll be able to appear at events and fundraisers, the senator won't be able to actually attach his name to fundraising asks.

As a leadership political action committee, DeMint's group raised more than $9 million in 2010, and leads current Senate leadership PACs with $7.5 million in the bank.

That prolific fundraising has made DeMint a major player for Republican candidates jockeying for their party's nomination in Senate races, and DeMint's Tea Party politics have undoubtedly driven some candidates further to the right.

This year, DeMint has already voiced endorsements in some of the Senate's most high-profile races, backing former Rep. Mark Neumann in Wisconsin, Rep. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOPINION | Healthcare vote a political death wish for GOP in 2018 Flake secretly wrote book on conservative politics: report Dem campaign arm slams Heller, Flake on healthcare votes MORE in Arizona and state treasurers Richard Mourdock in Indiana and Josh Mandel in Ohio.