COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Senator Glenn McConnell announced Friday he plans on vacating his seat following the resignation of embattled Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard.
As President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate, McConnell is bound by the Constitution to become the next lieutenant governor. He released a statement on Friday announcing his intention to "carry out the Constitution as [he] swore to do in accordance with the language as was written."
Ard resigned from his position on Friday, following an almost year-long ethics scandal. After a 5-month investigation, Ard was found guilty of 92 campaign finance violations and was ordered to pay more than $60,000 in fines.
McConnell said the decision was one of the most difficult decisions he's ever faced, adding, "The greatest honor of my career has been representing the people of District 41 in the South Carolina Senate. But I came here with a deep commitment to the Constitution, and I will not abandon it today."
McConnell was very active in several state issues. He was working on securing money to help deepen the Charleston Harbor and to ensure the success of the State Ports Authority. He was also helping the City of North Charleston with an ongoing dispute with the state over railroads.
He sat on six SC Senate committees and was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He will lose all of that as he becomes lieutenant governor.
Governor Nikki Haley said, "We look forward to a great partnership with Senator McConnell and to continuing the great progress we've made in the arena of jobs and economic development as well as restructuring our government to better serve the citizens."
As for the senator's seat that will be vacated, McConnell says the filing period for those interested in running will be in March and a special election will be held by July.
He expects to be sworn in as lieutenant governor on Tuesday.