Senate race gets more crowded

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Nearly 10 people have expressed interest in Mulvaney’s former post

By Jesef Williams

The filing period has started for political hopefuls looking to become the area’s newest state senator.
Nearly 10 people are believed to have interest in the District 16 Senate seat, which was vacated last month by Mick Mulvaney, who will be sworn in as a U.S. congressman on Wednesday.
Filing for the senate seat began Friday and will end at noon Jan. 10.
Lancaster pharmacist Hugh Mobley was among the first to announce intentions to run.
Indian Land businessman Brian Carnes and Lancaster resident Rob McCoy have also thrown their names in the hat. Carnes, a former school board member, had previously said he was considering a run. Signs promoting his bid for the seat started appearing around the county last week.
All three men are running as Republicans.
Winston Smith, chairman of the Lancaster County Republican party, is considering a bid, though he has made no announcement yet.
“I am seriously looking at it,” Smith said Thursday.
As of Thursday afternoon, no Democrats have publicly expressed interest in the seat, which covers most of Lancaster County and portions of eastern York County.
Following are other people who have announced plans to file or are said to be considering a bid. Each would run as a Republican, except for Stan Smith, who is running as a Libertarian.
u Keith Brann of Fort Mill
u Wendy Petzel of Fort Mill
u Mike Short of Fort Mill
u Stan Smith of Indian land
u Bayles Mack of Fort Mill
Primaries will be held Feb. 22, and the special election will be April 12.
The winner of the special election will serve for the remainder of Mulvaney’s term. About two years remain in the term.
Officials with the Lancaster County Election Commission said candidates must file with their home county’s political party.
County Democrats have to file with the Lancaster County Democratic Party and Republicans with the Lancaster County Republican Party.
To file, county residents should call either Gil Small of the Democratic Party at (803) 285-5891 or Winston Smith of the Republican Party at (803) 283-7580.
For details, you can also call the S.C. Election Commission at (803) 734-9060.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152