- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Election filing in South Carolina closed on Wednesday with four candidates having filed to run against U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, who is seeking his first full term in Washington.

Elsewhere two congressmen, including 1st District U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, have June primary challengers while the other five incumbent congressmen face major party opposition in the fall. In the General Assembly, 19 of 42 senators and 20 of the 109 House members have primary opponents.

A look at this year’s ballot:

U.S. Senate

- Democrat Thomas Dixon of North Charleston and three third-party candidates filed to run against Scott. Two are from the fledgling American Party that will select its candidate at a convention in May. Scott was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley when Jim DeMint resigned in 2013 and was elected to the remaining two years of DeMint’s term in 2014. He’s now seeking his first full term.

U.S. House

- Sanford, a Republican and former governor, faces Rep. Jenny Horne of Summerville in the primary. In the 5th District, incumbent Republican Mick Mulvaney, first elected six years ago, faces Ray Craig of Lake Wylie. Sanford defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, in a special election in 2013 to replace Scott. Horne drew national attention in a speech last year calling for the removal of the Confederate flag at the Statehouse after the slayings of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

- There are two other congressional primaries. Phil Black of Lexington and Arik Bjorn of Columbia are vying for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District to challenge longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson. In the 5th District, State Rep. John King of Rock Hill and Fran Person of Tega Cay are seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Mulvaney.

General Assembly

- Two Senate Republicans, Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin, R-Pickens, and Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, each have three primary challengers. Martin, elected to the Senate in 1992, again faces former state Rep. Rex Rice. Bright’s opponents include former state Rep. Scott Talley.

- Three GOP senators have two primary opponents. They are Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman of Florence, a 36-year Senate veteran; Corrections Chairman Mike Fair of Greenville, who first won a House seat in 1984; and Sen. Katrina Shealy of Lexington, one of two women in the Senate. Other Senate leaders in primaries include Majority Leader Harvey Peeler of Gaffney, Transportation Chairman Larry Grooms of Charleston, Ethics Chairman Luke Rankin of Conway and Banking and Insurance Chairman Wes Hayes of Rock Hill.

-In the House, Democrat Bill Bowers of Hampton has three primary opponents, the most of any representative. Interstate Cooperation Chairman Mark Willis of Fountain Inn is the only GOP House committee chairman or caucus leader facing major-party opposition.


Associated Press Writer Seanna Adcox contributed to this report from Columbia, South Carolina.

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