Schedule set for special election
Gov. Nikki Haley issued an executive order Wednesday officially setting in motion the process for a special election to fill the 1st Congressional District seat.
Potential candidates have until noon Jan. 28 to file, and voters have until Feb. 16 to ensure they’re registered to vote.
Primaries will be March 19 and the special election will be May 7.
The pool of possible candidates encompasses dozens – when the seat opened up in 2010, nine Republicans and two Democrats vied for the seat.
This year, newly elected state Sen. Paul Thurmond has already said he won’t run. Former Gov. Mark Sanford is reportedly considering a run. Keith Blandford, who ran as a Libertarian in 2012, and Larry Kobrovsky, who ran in the 2010 Republican primary, have already announced.
Teddy Turner, son of CNN founder Ted Turner, also announced his candidacy.
On the Democratic side, several people, including 2012 candidate Bobbie Rose, are considering a run.
Rose said she feared her supporters would be too tired to take up another campaign so soon, but has found them eager.
She also thinks there’s a shift toward the Democratic side within the district, though “whether we’re there yet, that remains to be seen.”
Beaufort County Democratic Party Chairman Blaine Lotz is also mulling a candidacy.
Voters should be aware of one major change at the polls this year: they will now need to produce a photo ID to vote.
Acceptable IDs are: South Carolina driver’s license, ID card issued by South Carolina DMV, voter registration card with photo, federal military ID or U.S. passport, according to the State Election Commission.