COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley has narrowed her list of potential appointments to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Jim DeMint to five, a source close to the Republican governor confirmed today.

The source said the five finalists are: U.S. Reps. Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy; S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Catherine Templeton; former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford; and former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster.

When asked about the names today, Haley declined to confirm them.

“Only my husband knows what’s in my head right now, so I’ll leave it at that,” Haley said. “I don’t want this to drag out. I don’t think that is good for the people of South Carolina.”

Haley made her comments after touring Boeing’s North Charleston plant —and less than an hour after CNN first released the short list.

Asked specifically about Jenny Sanford, she said, “I’m not going to answer (questions) on any individuals because then you get into a whole other situation. There are numerous good people who could hold this position. South Carolina is not limited on good people.”

DeMint announced last week he will retire in January to head the Heritage Foundation. State law says Haley should appoint someone to fill the seat until the next general election in 2014, when voters will decide who will fill the final two years of the term.

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.