With all the speculation about who will run for Rep. Tim Scott's seat now that Gov. Nikki Haley plans to appoint him to fill retiring Sen. Jim DeMint's seat, the list of possibilities shrunk by one on Monday.
Paul Thurmond, who won election to the S.C. Senate District 41 seat in November announced he will not run for the First Congressional District seat that Scott is vacating.
Thurmond issued the following statement in an email to supporters and media on Monday:
I am humbled by the numerous calls I have received encouraging me to run for Congress. While I never actively engaged in exploring a run for Congress, I felt obligated to listen to the opinions of the people that recently elected me. After thoughtful consideration and prayer, consultation with my family and countless calls from constituents, I am convinced that I can best serve the people of District 41 by ending any speculation about my interest in the open Congressional seat. I will not run in the 1st District Congressional Special Election. I will focus all of my energies on implementing the policies that are important to my constituents as their State Senator. I hope that by making this statement my supporters who have withheld support of an announced candidate pending my decision will be comfortable getting involved in this very important race. I also hope that this announcement assures the people of District 41 that my focus is on serving them not on political opportunity.
Other candidates that have announced interest in pursuing the seat include West Ashley attorney and former County Councilman Curtis Bostic, former Gov. Mark Sanford, Sanford's ex-wife Jenny Sanford, current Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey and "rogue Republican" Robert "Teddy" Turner. S.C. State Sen. Larry Grooms has also been identified as a possible candidate for the seat, though he had not made a firm decision when he spoke to Patch earlier this month.
Nearly two dozen Republicans have been named as possible candidates for the race on the Charleston County GOP Facebook page.
In addition to Thurmond, S.C. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis on the Democratic side of aisle has announcd he will not pursue the seat.