The election to fill U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s former House seat stands out because of its huge field and a very compact time frame.

Both were on display Tuesday morning, as 16 of 20 candidates — from the Republican, Democratic and Green parties — sat elbow-to-elbow on a stage inside a Charleston hotel.

Four candidates chose not to attend, and those who did were timed to the second as they tried to explain their position on complex issues such as harbor deepening, infastructure, immigration and possible military cuts.

Still, many in the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s audience felt more exhilation than frustration and said they were glad they have so much choice.

What they don’t have is much time. While most congressional races play out over more than a year, this race is occuring in less than half that time: The primaries are March 19, and the special election is May 7.

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.