With just three weeks before their crowded primary date, most of the 16 Republicans seeking the 1st Congressional District seat are expected to appear before two Charleston area groups today.

The Greater Lowcountry Republican Women’s Club will hold its candidate forum at 11:30 this morning at the Country Club of Charleston.

This evening, the Conservative Republican Men’s Group of Mount Pleasant will hold its own forum at 7 p.m. in Mount Pleasant’s Town Hall.

Both Republicans and Democrats are scheduled to choose their candidates on March 19. On the Republican side, many expect an April 2 runoff will be necessary because no candidate is expected to top the necessary 50 percent mark the first time.

The general election is May 7. The seat became vacant when Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott to serve the next two years of former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s term.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.