COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – State senators have elected an Anderson Republican to become South Carolina’s next lieutenant governor following Henry McMaster’s ascension to the governor’s office.
The Senate’s unanimous vote Wednesday was technically to make Sen. Kevin Bryant the chamber’s leader, knowing he’d keep that title only momentarily. He was then to be immediately sworn in as lieutenant governor.
The state constitution calls for the Senate’s leader to fill a vacancy created in the lieutenant governor’s office.
Florence Sen. Hugh Leatherman has refused to step into the largely ceremonial position. Leatherman resigned as Senate president pro tem Tuesday evening, before U.S. senators confirmed then-Gov. Nikki Haley as the U.N. ambassador.
Leatherman will attempt to regain his powerful post. But he will be challenged. Some senators oppose Leatherman’s moves as sidestepping his constitutional duties.