- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s 2016 legislative session kicks off with a new member in each chamber.

The House and Senate gaveled in the January-to-June session at noon Tuesday.

Republican Rep. Russell Fry of Surfside Beach was sworn in as the newest House member.

The 30-year-old attorney replaces former Rep. Nelson Hardwick, who resigned last May amid an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint.

Democrat Margie Bright Matthews took her seat in the 46-member Senate. The Walterboro attorney was elected to the seat left vacant by last June’s shooting death of Sen. Clementa Pinckney at the church he pastored in Charleston.

Her election in October put a second woman in the Senate. South Carolina hasn’t had that many female senators since 2008.

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