Who Will Step Up To Replace Rep. Tim Scott?
A vacancy in Congressional District 1 could mean a special election as soon as April 16.
A special election will decide the replacement for Congressman Tim Scott who was appointed by the governor to the vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Patch reported last week that a dozen or so people in the Lowcountry have expressed interest in the congressional seat, where Scott's meteoric rise from county council to U.S. Senate really took off.
So far, most of the speculation has centered on possible Republican candidates. Among those are Rep. Chip Limehouse and Sen. Larry Grooms.
Another name floated was Sen. Tom Davis of Beaufort County. The county makes up more than 20 percent of the Lowcountry district. However, as of Monday morning, Davis said his "inclination" is not to seek the seat.
"At this point, my focus is entirely on the 2013 legislative session," he said.
Rep. Peter McCoy of Charleston County has also has his name floated, but, unlike Davis, he has also expressed interest in the seat. On Monday, he told Patch he will form an exploratory committee.
"I'm seriously considering the race," McCoy said. "I've gotten a big number of calls and emails in support."
McCoy is in his second term at the State House.
Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey is also interested in the seat.
"I'm still considering it, and researching," Summey said. "I will make an informed decision ... it will be whatever is right for me and my family."
Summey just won reelection to his second term on county council.
Dorchester County Councilman Jay Byars told Patch Monday that he would consider a bid for the seat, but needs to address it with his family first.
The wild card? Former First Lady Jenny Sanford.
Michael Mule', a Charleston-based political consultant, said he thinks there will be no shortage of candidates. "In this short race, the strongest candidate will be the one who can point to a proven record of lowering taxes, cutting spending, and promoting job growth."
On the Democrat side, Scott's 2012 opponent Bobbie Rose has expressed hedged interest, calling it a possible "second chance," after she lost with only 34 percent of the vote in Novemeber.
"I have gotten a couple hundred emails asking me that very questions and I would certainly consider it. It's almost like getting a second chance," Rose said. "I would talk to my supporters ... It comes down to funding.
"In the last election, all the Democrats lost, but I can really sense the change of direction in South Carolina as a whole. It's coming slowly but we will become more competitive in this state but we have to keep working at that and we have to keep running."
Democrat Linda Ketner will likely not seek the seat, according to one source. Other Democrat names being floated are: Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (sister of comedian Stephen Colbert), Rep. Leon Stavrinakis and Ashley Cooper.
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint announced his resignation two weeks ago, saying he would resign in the beginning of 2013 to pursue a private career. Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Scott as the interim replacement Monday. He will hold the seat until the next general election, in 2014.
Scott's Congressional seat will not have an interim appointment, per S.C. state law. Once Scott officially resigns, candidates for the special election for District 1 will have 10 days to file. The primary will be on a Tuesday 11 weeks later, and a special election, also on a Tuesday, will be 18 weeks after the vacancy. Click here to view the law.
If Scott resigns today, those dates are: Feb. 26 for the primary and April 16 for the special election.