Gov. Nikki Haley will name a successor to fill the next two years of Republican Jim DeMint’s vacated Senate term, making it the most closely watched appointment of her career.

Her office has not indicated when the announcement will come. A special statewide election will be held in November 2014 to fill the seat’s final two years.

Likely front-runner

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C. The only black Republican in the House is a second-term congressman who is strongly supported by Main Street and tea party Republicans, putting him on same political page as Haley. He already has Senate ambitions.

Safe choice, short-term

Former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster. He’s been out of politics since his unsuccessful run for governor in the 2010 GOP primary against Haley, McMaster became a Haley ally soon after dropping out of the race.

Safe choice, big Rolodex

Former House Speaker David Wilkins of Greenville. He led Haley’s gubernatorial transition team and remains visible as chairman of Clemson University’s Board of Trustees. Wilkins also served as President George W. Bush’s ambassador to Canada.

Wild choice, won’t happen

Gov. Nikki Haley. She could resign the governor’s job and ask her successor, Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, to nominate her. Former Gov. Donald Russell did this in the 1960s. On Thursday, Haley said it’s not in the cards.

Up-and-coming choice

Attorney General Alan Wilson. Like Haley, Wilson is a Midlands Republican in the Lexington County style. He’s a son of senior U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.


Other members of the state’s congressional delegation. In addition to Scott, South Carolina has five other House Republicans.