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Leatherman to keep finance post, won’t seek Senate presidency

January 4, 2019
Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr.

COLUMBIAL, S.C. – State Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman will not be running for the position of president of the South Carolina Senate.

Leatherman confirmed Thursday afternoon by phone that he had voluntarily decided not to run for the newly created position. He said he would remain head of the Senate Finance Committee.

The position of president of the Senate was created by the constitutional amendment that combined the elections of governor and lieutenant governor onto one ticket. As part of that amendment, a chairman of a standing committee of the South Carolina Senate cannot serve as president of the Senate.

The position of president pro tempore was eliminated by the amendment.

Sen. Shane Massey, Republican caucus leader, said Thursday at the 2019 South Carolina Legislative Workshop for Media that the amendment will allow more people to become involved in the Senate leadership process, which will help to build consensus in the 46-member upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly.

Massey added that Leatherman was instrumental to the amendment. Massey said the amendment could not have been passed without Leatherman. He added that Leatherman asked what the Senate would be like in 40 years and supported the amendment because he believed it to be in the best interest of the state. He also said that Leatherman, as chairman of the Finance Committee, would have more time to focus on the state’s budget.

Leatherman has represented Senate District 31 since 1981. His district includes a small portion of eastern Darlington County and most of Florence County except small portions of the southwestern part of the county. Leatherman served as president pro tempore of the Senate since he was elected to that position in 2014.

Massey represents Senate District 25, which includes a part of central western Aiken County, all of Edgefield County, central western Lexington County, western McCormick County, and central eastern Saluda County.

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