COLUMBIA - The education chairman of the South Carolina House says he's not seeking re-election.

Rep. Phil Owens said Tuesday it's time for him to retire. The 62-year-old Easley Republican was first elected to the House 12 years ago.

Other House members not seeking re-election this year include Republican Reps. Liston Barfield of Conway, Andy Patrick of Hilton Head Island, B.R. Skelton of Six Mile, and Roland Smith of Warrenville; and Democratic Rep. Ted Vick of Chesterfield.

The two-week filing period for candidates' political parties begins March 16. The Republican and Democratic primaries are set for June 10.

Republicans occupy 78 seats to Democrats' 46 in the House.