- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Democratic Party is hosting a debate for candidates vying for the state Senate seat that Clementa Pinckney held for 15 years before he and eight of his parishioners were slain in June.

Organizers say the debate will be held Wednesday at the International Longshoreman Association in Charleston.

Eleven Democrats and two Republicans have filed for the seat that includes parts of Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties. Primaries will be Sept. 1. The special election is scheduled Oct. 20.

Pinckney served four years in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2000. The Ridgeland Democrat was pastor of historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where a gunman opened fire June 17 following a Bible study.

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