Jenny Sanford

SC-01: Scott’s appointment could pit Sanford vs. Sanford

Mark Sanford

With South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointment of Tim Scott to the United States Senate, South Carolina politics may get very interesting.

Scott ascent to the Senate obviously creates an opening in South Carolina’s First Congressional District (SC-01). As one might imagine, candidates try to gain position in the special election for the seat. Via the South Carolina-based Post & Courier, the National Journal has a quick rundown of some of the names that could jump in the race:

The special election for Scott’s seat, in the heavily Republican 1st District, would likely attract a big field of GOP contenders. The Charleston Post & Courier has a long list of potential Republican candidates: State Sen. Paul Thurmond (the late Sen. Strom Thurmond’s son), who ran against Scott in the 2010 primary, is not ruling out another run at the seat. Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey also wouldn’t rule out a bid, along with former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford (reportedly on Haley’s shortlist for the Senate seat) and former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky, who ran in 2010 as well. And Charleston County GOP chair Lin Bennetttold the Post & Courier state Rep. Chip Limehouse and state Sen. Larry Grooms contacted her to express interest in running.

SC Gov. Nikki Haley will not appoint a placeholder for Senate seat

Nikki Haley

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced today on Facebook that she will not appoint a placeholder for the Senate seat left vacant by Jim DeMint, who resigned on Thursday to serve as President of the Heritage Foundation.

As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a ‘placeholder’ appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014. While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it.

I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office. I do not want to deprive our state’s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee’s performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state’s new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it.

I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a ‘placeholder.’

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