The talk around Columbia is now that at some point in the relatively near future, Lt. Governor Ken Ard will resign his post State Senator Glenn McConnell, as President Pro Tempore of the State Senate is next in line. McConnell does not want the job for all sorts of reasons. There are rumors floating around Columbia about a plan to deal with Ard’s resignation. McConnell supposedly has a letter of resignation from his position as President Pro Tempore of the State Senate ready to deliver if Ard quits his post. McConnell will resign his post, allow the election of another state senator, and then take back his old job after the new President Pro Tempore is elevated by the state constitution to the office of Lt. Governor
There are so many rumors and debate going on about who will be that Lt. Governor. Ard of course, might not leave office, but if the State Grand Jury indicts him, he will have little choice. The political atmosphere has changed since then Governor Mark Sanford faced such charges. An indicted Lt. Governor Ard will have no choice. But, the State Senate is mulling over their choices.
Three names keep coming up in various conversations: Harvey Peeler of Gaffney, John Courson of Columbia, and Larry Martin of Pickens. All three have served the state of South Carolina long and well in the South Carolina State Senate. Peeler, the Majority Leader of the State Senate, would join his brother Bob in being the only brothers to hold the office of Lt. Governor. Courson, long known for his love history, would cap off a long career in the job. Martin, who has served in state politics since 1979, is respected for his work ethic and his demeanor. Any of the three would bring dignity to the office of Lt. Governor, and the office Lt Governor sorely needs that to survive. (VUI will post later about why we should have an elected Lt. Governor)
Old fashioned politics will play a hand in deciding who gets the job if Ard resigns, McConnell is not going to ever take the job. Rule him out. Peeler holds on to a seat in Cherokee County that might go Democrat if he left it, and he does an outstanding job as Majority Leader. Courson holds a seat in Richland County that frankly, some think only he can hold for the GOP. That leaves Larry Martin. He is respected, he can wear the office well, and his seat in the South Carolina Senate is safe for the GOP in a special election.
So, VUI predicts, if Ken Ard resigns, Larry Martin will end up Lt. Governor of South Carolina. South Carolina will not lack with Martin. Martin has served in state politics since 1979, in both the State House and State Senate. Martin is a textile guy, and we like that. Martin has been recognized for his work for the mentally ill and the blind. Indeed, some might say that work is what best qualifies Martin to preside over the State Senate and be Nikki Haley’s Lt. Governor.