Governor Nikki Haley signed an executive order Wednesday that schedules a special election in the 1st Congressional District. The seat became vacant after Haley appointed Rep. Tim Scott to the U.S Senate to replace resigning Sen. Jim DeMint.
The party primaries for the open seat will be held on March 19. Any potential runoff would follow on April 2. The general election will be on May 7.
Scott’s resignation took effect Wednesday. Haley had named him as DeMint’s replacement on December 17, making him the first African-American senator in South Carolina history. He will serve the next two years of DeMint’s term, until a new special election is required. DeMint left his office to lead the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation.
Several potential GOP candidates have expressed interest in running, most notably former Governor Mark Sanford. Also expressing interest are state Sen. Larry Grooms, former state Sen. John Kuhn, Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey, former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, and Citadel economics professor Teddy Turner— the son of media mogul Ted Turner.
No Democrats have yet made their bids official. One of the perceived favorites, State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, says he plans to remain in the South Carolina House and will not run.
The South Carolina Republican Party announced that its filing will begin January 18 and will run until January 28.