Key dates

Monday: Filing closes at noon.Feb. 12: Candidates invited to appear before the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce in whatís expected to be their first joint appearance.March 19: GOP and Democratic primaries will be held.April 2: Primary runoffs (if needed) May 7: General election

By Thursday, 13 candidates, 11 Republicans and two Democrats, had filed for the 1st Congressional District seat vacated when Tim Scott was appointed a U.S. senator.

And the field ó already larger than the 2010 crowd that ran the last time there was no incumbent ó is expected to grow even more.

On the Republican side, Goose Creek businessman Jeff King, state Rep. Chip Limehouse of Charleston, Sullivanís Island businessman Keith Blandford, state Sen. Larry Grooms of Bonneau and Tim Larkin all filed Thursday.

They joined several other Republicans who already have filed, including former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, former state Sen. John Kuhn, former Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash, state Rep. Andy Patrick, R-Hilton Head Island, Charleston teacher Teddy Turner and former Charleston County School Board member Elizabeth Moffly.

On the Democratic side, Clemson Restoration Institute employee Elizabeth Colbert-Busch and Charleston businessman Martin Skelly have filed, and educator Bobbie Rose, who ran last year, is expected to run again.

Meanwhile, at least two other Republicans have indicated they plan to run but had not filed as of Thursday.

They are former Gov. Mark Sanford and Jonathan Hoffman, former director of Border Security under President George W. Bush. State Rep. Peter McCoy of James Island, who also has tested the waters, is expected to announce today if heís in or not.

Former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kabrovsky also had said he would run but changed his mind this week.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.