Democrats lost one of their U.S. Senate hopefuls against Republican incumbent Tim Scott on Thursday when Rick Wade suddenly dropped from the race.

And while Richland County Democrat Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson confirmed she still is in the running against Scott, R-S.C., Wade's exit raises concerns that Democrats could have difficulty filling out their slate of credible candidates this year.

On Wednesday the party lost a candidate for superintendent of education when state Rep. Mike Anthony, D-Union, ended his bid.

Wade, who previously worked in the Gov. Jim Hodges and President Barack Obama administrations, issued a media announcement that he was ending his bid. He cited the lack of time to fundraise and to put together a credible statewide effort.

"I certainly had no illusions about being able to match a multimillion dollar campaign war chest," his note said. "But after a couple of months as a candidate, I've concluded that the timing of my entrance - less than a year before Election Day - had compressed the calendar too much for me to raise the money needed to mount a serious challenge."

Scott has more than $3 million in the bank.

Dickerson, meanwhile, said she was staying in, and that she was spending Thursday afternoon out with supporters putting up campaign signs in the Midlands.

"We are very much going forward," she said.

Wade hinted he may try again because Scott's seat comes open in two years.

"It's important to remember that this is a special election to serve out the last two years of Sen. Jim DeMint's unexpired term," his note said. "The winner will face voters again in 2016 for election to a full six-year Senate term."

Republicans jumped in Wade's exit.

"The S.C. Republican Party said from day one that Rick Wade is too liberal for South Carolina. Rick Wade has finally admitted it," said party Chairman Matt Moore.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.