Schedule set for special election to fill Hugh Leatherman’s seat

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The schedule is set for a special election to fill the senate seat of Hugh Leatherman, who died Friday at age 90.

The primary election will be held Jan. 25, 2022, according to a document from the South Carolina Senate. If necessary, a primary election runoff will be held Feb. 8, 2022. The special election will be held March 29, 2022.

Filing for the vacant seat will open at noon Dec. 3 and will close Dec. 11, according to the document.

Leatherman was in his 11th term and among the longest-serving lawmakers in South Carolina’s Legislature. First elected to the Senate in 1980 as a Democrat, he later ran unsuccessfully for governor before switching parties in the 1990s, one of a number of lawmakers who did so as Republicans gained dozens of seats in Congress.

Leatherman soon assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee, and in a state where the governor has less control, Leatherman was long considered South Carolina’s most powerful politician for his dominance over the state budget.

Leatherman also sat on a number of fiscal oversight boards, including the State Fiscal Accountability Authority and the Joint Bond Review Committee. A new port terminal in Charleston bears his name.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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