South Carolina’s Senate majority leader stepping down

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina Sen. Harvey Peeler says he’s stepping down as the leader of the chamber’s GOP caucus.

Peeler says he told his colleagues Tuesday to elect a new chairman. The Gaffney Republican has been the Senate’s majority leader for 11 years. He has described the job as a “herder of cats.”

The caucus is expected to vote Wednesday on his replacement. Peeler is not endorsing anyone.

The 36-year Senate veteran says he decided the time was right.

He says the Senate’s been criticized as dysfunctional and he hopes to become the “quality control” manager. He told reporters they’re going to “enjoy Harvey Peeler unplugged.”

Peeler faces a primary opponent in June. He says the move also allows him time to campaign.

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