Down in South Carolina, one Republican lawmaker with a famous name is declaring that he’s not interested in running for the seat soon to be vacated by Tim Scott, who will become the Palmetto State’s newest senator next Wednesday.
Some contenders already are bowing out, including newly elected state Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston.
Thurmond said Monday he was humbled by the number of people asking him to run but that he could best serve his District 41 constituents by ending speculation that he will seek the seat being vacated soon by Rep. Tim Scott.
Thurmond came closest to Scott in the crowded GOP congressional primary in 2010, and he was among almost two dozen possible Republican candidates to seek the seat again, Charleston County Chair Lin Bennett said.
Thurmond is, of course, the son of the late Senator Strom Thurmond, who represented the state in the Senate for 48 years.
Filing for the vacated congressional seat will begin at noon on Jan. 18 and continue for ten days. The primary is scheduled for March 19 — right now, there is only one Democrat interested in running, state representative Wendell Gilliard, of Charleston — and the general election for the seat will be on May 7. It will be the first major election conducted under the state’s new photo-ID law.
The Post and Courier lists the small army of candidates being mentioned on the Republican side:
On the GOP side, potential candidates include former Gov. Mark Sanford and his ex-wife, former first lady Jenny Sanford; state Sens. Chip Campsen and Larry Grooms; state Reps. Chip Limehouse, Peter McCoy, Jim Merrill and Andy Patrick; Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey; Dorchester County Councilman Jay Byars; Charleston City Councilman Mike Seekings; Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Ken Glasson; former state Sen. John Kuhn; former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kabrovsky; former Charleston County Council members Curtis Bostic and Joe McKeown; and Lowcountry businessmen Keith Blandford, Carroll Campbell, Mark Lutz, Bob Menges and Teddy Turner.
Turner already has a basic web site up and running.