Three candidates have filed to run in the special election for District 31 in the South Carolina State Senate. State Rep. Jay Jordan (R), Mike Reichenbach (R), and Suzanne La Rochelle (D) all filed before the Dec. 11 filing deadline. Jordan and Reichenbach will face off in the Republican primary on Jan. 25. The winner of the Republican primary will face La Rochelle in the special election on March 29.
The seat became vacant after the death of Hugh Leatherman (R) on Nov. 12. He had served in the state Senate since 1981. He was unopposed in his re-election bid in 2020.
Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 29-16 majority in the state Senate with one vacancy. South Carolina has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
As of December, 11 state legislative special elections have been scheduled to take place in 2022. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. South Carolina held 33 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.