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Lt. Gov. McConnell's replacement remains unclear

Lt. Gov. McConnell's replacement remains unclear

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

One day after being chosen to lead the College of Charleston, there are questions circulating as to who will fill current Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell's position once he steps down at the end of June.

While there are no legal provisions in the state constitution that require the office to be filled, former Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer said the current Senator Pro-Tempore, John Courson is next in line. According to, "The State," Courson said he will not leave his position in the Senate to fill in for McConnell.

News 2 reached out to Sen. Courson Sunday afternoon, and he seemed less committed to that stance. Courson said he hasn't had a chance to speak with McConnell about his plan, so he declined to comment.

Bauer said Courson is required to become the next Lieutenant Governor.

"He doesn't have a choice," Bauer said. "He would have to remove himself as President Pro-Tem of the Senate, step down as the leader of the Senate. They would then have to appoint someone new, which would have to be voted on by the senate. Whomever they voted to be President Pro-Tem would be elevated to the position."

Bauer debunked the reports that Senator Courson would refuse to fill the state's second highest position. Bauer cited McConnell himself when he stepped into the Lieutenant Governor position when Ken Ard was forced to resign following ethics charges in 2012.

"I've never heard of it happening before," he said. "If you don't have a spelled out and delineated line of how the progression falls in leadership, you could have chaos."

Other legal experts said they would be surprised if the office is filled once McConnell leaves. That could mean the office could be vacant until January, which is after the general election and the new Lieutenant Governor is sworn in.

If Courson does assume the office, Bauer said he will only hold that position until the election in November. Courson can, however, run as the incumbent.

McConnell will begin his new job as President of the College of Charleston beginning July 1.

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone Photo Shutterstock

 

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