MORNING BUZZ: It's almost the weekend, S.C. Democrats

Posted by JAMIE SELF and ANDREW SHAIN on March 7, 2014 

— S.C. Democrats had a rough week.

First, on Wednesday, state Rep. Mike Anthony, D-Union, dropped out of the race for state schools chief.

Then, yesterday, Democrat Rick Wade -- a former Obama campaigner and administration official and cabinet head under Gov. Jim Hodges -- bowed out of the race to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, the state's first African American in the U.S. Senate.

It's not the end of the world for Democrats -- the vacated races still have Democratic candidates: Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson still wants the Senate seat and former public school principal and teacher Montrio Belton of Fort Mill still wants to be state schools chief.

Dems have other candidates seeking statewide office too. But Anthony and Wade were among the highest profile, along with state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, running for governor, and state Rep. Bakari Sellers for the No. 2 lieutenant governor post.

Upon Wade's exit, the S.C. GOP did not pull its punch: "The S.C. Republican Party said from day one that Rick Wade is too liberal for South Carolina. Rick Wade has finally admitted it," said S.C. GOP Chairman Matt Moore.

With official filing around the corner, the state soon will have a better idea of who's in, and who's on track to coast to the party's nomination.

State House clicks

Standing down on stand your ground: The chairman of the state Legislative Black Caucus, backed by several ministers, former law enforcement officials and activists, has introduced a bill to repeal South Carolina’s “Stand your ground” law. Full story

SC hospitals ask Supreme Court to force state regulation: The S.C. Supreme Court was asked Thursday to decide whether the governor’s veto can suspend a state law. The issue is whether a state agency was justified in suspending a program that decides whether hospitals and nursing homes get clearance to build or expand when Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed money to pay for that program. Full story

Marijuana-related bill advances: People suffering from severe epilepsy could legally use oil derived from marijuana under a bill advanced Thursday in the South Carolina House. Full story

Election 2014 clicks

Dem congressional challenger hopes for better show this year: Gloria Bromell Tinubu told Florence County Democrats at their biennial convention Thursday that her first race for Congress in 2012 was just the “dress rehearsal” for the real production this year. Full story

Political clicks

Pinson trial delayed: A trial in federal court involving alleged wrongdoing at the City of Columbia's Village at River's Edge project and S.C. State University has been delayed at least until June. Full story

New area code has bad ring to some: As plans move ahead to launch a second area code for the Lowcountry and Pee Dee regions, some elected officials are raising concerns about creating South Carolina's first overlaid area codes. Full story

Study: SC needs more educated workers: South Carolina needs 114,550 more college-educated workers by 2030 to bolster the state’s economy, according to a University of South Carolina study paid for by a business group that includes two former governors. Full story

Haley changing her food stamp menu: Gov. Nikki Haley is backing down from a controversial proposal that would have restricted what food stamp recipients can buy, instead shifting her focus on a new strategy to link food stamp eligibility with finding a job. Full story

Sea turtles no longer endangered?: Two North Carolina commercial fishing groups are seeking to end endangered-species protections for sea turtles, a move that could loosen regulations that the groups say are unnecessary. Full story

MOX deja vu?: Aiken County Council member Chuck Smith said news about President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal to freeze the Savannah River Site's MOX program “smells like Yucca Mountain, part two.” Full story

SC federal judge nominee advances: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to send Bruce Howe Hendricks' nomination to a federal judgeship to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. Hendricks, a U.S. magistrate in Charleston who worked in Greenville for nine years, was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the federal court in Columbia. Full story

A little congressional BFF: U.S. Sen. Tim Scott thinks U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy should be on the U.S. Supreme Court one day, he told the National Review. And more, the two have a deeper bond over basketball, lobster and donor lists. Full story

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