At least five candidates are taking a look at trying to succeed Rick Quinn as a Lexington County legislator after he stepped down Wednesday in a corruption probe.
Lexington Town Councilman Steve Baker, Lexington 1 School Board member Anne Marie Green, GOP activist Dino Teppara and attorneys Joel Deason and Michael Weaver are among those interested.
Each of the four confirmed they are considering a bid for the House District 69 seat that Quinn resigned from after seven years in office. Some of them might make their candidacies official as soon as Thursday.
The heavily Republican district sprawls across neighborhoods with diverse interests in West Columbia, Oak Grove, the town of Lexington, the southeast shore of Lake Murray and the St. Andrews area.
Quinn’s plea of guilty to misconduct in office promises to make ethics a major theme in the upcoming contest instead of the traditional emphasis on road improvements because traffic congestion is a major headache, some community leaders said.
Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall said “people are fed up with this umbrella of corruption.” Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce president Otis Rawl agreed that candidates’ integrity will be “a big point” in the race.
Quinn is the second major county leader to leave office for misconduct in the past two years, following former sheriff James Metts. Former Lexington town councilman Danny Frazier also stepped down after assisting prosecutors in the Metts investigation.
Quinn, who lives in Lexington, on Wednesday gave up a post he first won in a GOP primary battle in 2010. He revived his political career then after serving as a lawmaker from the Ballentine area for 16 years before a re-election defeat in 2004.
Voters will go to the polls May 1 to pick Quinn’s successor to serve the remainder of his term through 2018.
Primary elections leading up to that May vote will take place Feb. 27, with a run-off March 13 if necessary, county election officials said.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483