FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Jay Jordan, the state District 63 representative, is the second person to announce that he is seeking the Republican nomination for the South Carolina state Senate seat formerly held by the late Sen. Hugh Leatherman.

The other candidate is businessman Mike Reichenbach, who announced his campaign on Nov. 23.

Though the filing for the special election isn’t until Dec. 3, Jordan said he wants it to be known that he plans to fill Leatherman’s seat.

“We need to continue to improve our infrastructure, improve our education system,” Jodan said. “I’m very proud that for the first time, since I’ve been in Columbia, our teacher pay is above the Southeast average. We need to continue to support law enforcement and make sure they have the tools to protect us.”

For the past 41 years, Leatherman held the seat representing Florence. He died on Nov. 12 at the age of 90. He was known as South Carolina’s oldest and most-powerful state lawmaker.

Jordan has been endorsed by state Rep. Phillip Lowe, County Council Chairman Willard Dorriety, Sheriff TJ Joye, former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, and Dr. Fred Carter, the president of Francis Marion University.

“I’m here today not only to endorse Jay for this term, but for the next 10 terms because I want another Senate Finance chair to come from Florence, South Carolina,” Carter said.

Jordan said he hears it when people say that he has big shoes to fill and says that is truly an understatement.

“Sen. Leatherman was truly an institution,” he said. “I mean, we’ve heard words like champion, giant, and things like that. He was a force for the Pee Dee and for Florence, and it’s going to be almost impossible to fill those shoes. We’re going to have to work together as a team from local officials, to business leaders, to everyone in Florence to hold hands and grab hands and move forward together.”

Florence County Voter Registration & Elections officials said that staff members are meeting daily to prepare for training poll workers, which will be held on Jan. 6, 10, and 13.  Delivery of voting machines/equipment will be on Jan. 14 and 24. For more information about voting, click here.