Future U.S. Senate vacancies would be filled with a special election, not by gubernatorial appointment, under a bill filed Wednesday.
This proposed legislation is not intended in any way as a criticism of Gov. (Nikki) Haley or any of the outstanding leaders she is apparently considering for appointment to the U.S. Senate, said state Rep. Rick Quinn, a Lexington Republican who introduced the bill. My concern is the lack of public involvement in the process of selecting a person.
The governor can appoint a senator who can serve for up to two years before an election, enough time to get a head start on raising money with all the attention from the seat.
U.S. House vacancies are filled with a special election within 18 weeks. Senate vacancies would filled the same way under Quinns bill. He is introducing a second bill that allows the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the special election.
Any way we fill those vacancies will have flaws, Quinn said. But we must not dilute the peoples right to choose their representation at the ballot box."
Haley is choosing a successor for U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned last week to head the Heritage Foundation. A special election is scheduled for 2014 for the final two year's of DeMint's term.