77
      Saturday
      88 / 71
      Sunday
      89 / 70
      Monday
      86 / 70

      SC lawmaker proposes bill for special election if state senator leaves office

      In the wake of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint announcing his resignation earlier this month, Lexington County lawmaker Rick Quinn proposed a bill for special elections should a state senator steps down.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - In the wake of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint announcing his resignation earlier this month, Lexington County lawmaker Rick Quinn proposed a bill for special elections should a state senator steps down.

      Under current law, if a Senate seat goes vacant, the Law dictates that the governor appoints a replacement.

      Quinn hopes to give the people a voice in who goes to the nation's capital.

      "It's the right thing to do. It's the tenet of our democratic process that you vote for the people who represent you in congress and the United States Senate," said Quinn.

      Quinn points out that if a congressman fills DeMint's shoes, there will be a special election for that seat. He feels the campaigning process plays a key role in becoming a public official.

      University of South Carolina political science professor Mark Tompkins thinks a proposal for special elections shows there is unhappiness over who the governor is considering for DeMint's seat in Washington.

      According to the Associated Press, the short list to replace DeMint includes Tim Scott, Henry McMaster, Catherine Templeton, Trey Gowdy and Jenny Sanford.

      Tompkins says whomever the governor chooses will have a big impact on the Palmetto State.

      "If it's Rep. Scott, it's an extraordinary moment in the public eye. It's a moment of grace appointing an African American to the most important legislative body," said Tompkins. "If it's former Attorney General McMaster, It's a signal that seat is still in play and quite possibly there will be a contest in 2014."

      For Quinn, it's all about giving the people a voice in who represents them.

      "Next to President, maybe, it's the most important office. There are only 100 [senators], so it is important" said Quinn.

      Quinn says many at the Statehouse agree it's time for a change, and he hopes the governor signs his proposal into law in 2013.