In response to questions that have been raised about whether he may seek to run again for his old Senate seat, Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell issued a statement Thursday saying he would stay in his new office.
“I have dedicated the last thirty-one years of my life to serving as a Senator,” the statement said, “Selfishly speaking, I would love to return to that position of honor… However, I cannot in good conscience offer for re-election to the Senate this year. The timing of this constitutional succession makes it impossible for me to consider any other course.”
McConnell reluctantly resigned his District 41 seat Friday to succeed previous Lt. Gov. Ken Ard after Ard resigned to face ethics charges. As recently as Tuesday, however, McConnell said he was not sure if he would eventually resign his new job to run for his old seat in November.
McConnell said the job of overseeing an orderly transition in his new office and making certain its duties and responsibilities are properly organized would require major effort over a long period of time.
His staff still in transition between offices, says the new lieutenant governor’s chief of staff Debbie Hammond.
“To regain my seat in the Senate, I would have to file for re-election literally within a few days and launch a campaign immediately,” McConnell said, “I cannot do that.”
At least one candidate has already declared for the seat. Former Charleston city councilman Paul Tinkler has said he would seek to represent the district as a Democrat.
McConnell did not say whether or not he would seek the seat in the 2016 election.