More than two dozen people have expressed interest or been mentioned as possible candidates for the vacant 1st Congressional District seat, but the field might not be quite so large when filing closes on Jan. 28.

Some already are bowing out, including newly elected state Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston.

Thurmond posted on Facebook today that he was humbled by the number of people asking him to run but said he could best serve his District 41 constituents by ending speculation that he will seek the seat being vacated soon by Rep. Tim Scott.

Thurmond came closest to Scott in the crowded 1st District GOP primary in 2010, and he was among almost two dozen possible Republican candidates to seek the seat again, Charleston County Chair Lin Bennett said.

Thurmond said he hoped his announcement would free up his supporters to rally behind other candidates.

I also hope that this announcement assures the people of my district that my focus is on serving them not on political opportunity, he said.

Scott was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to serve in the U.S. Senate for the next two years after Sen. Jim DeMint resigned.

Scott is scheduled to be sworn in Thursday. Based on that, filing for his vacated Congressional seat is expected to begin two weeks later and end at noon Jan. 28, State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said today.

Primaries would be held on March 19, which runoffs, if necessary on April 2. The special election would be held May 7.

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.