Ray Nash, former sheriff of Dorchester County, says he is joining the 1st Congressional District race as a Republican for the spot vacated when Tim Scott became U.S. senator.

In an e-mailed announcement, Nash said he is resigning his position as the criminal justice adviser for the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, to pursue his candidacy.

The note was confirmed today as genuine from his daughter, Kelsey Nash, during a phone call from The Post and Courier.

Filing for the race officially opens Friday. Nash joins a growing field that could include 10 or more people interested in the seat.

“Due to the recent attacks on our Constitutional freedoms, I was gravely concerned that I would no longer recognize my country upon my return,” Nash’s statement read. “Then I realized I had a clear opportunity to do something about it by running for Congress.”