The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said today it has received letters of intent from the five individuals who plan to apply for the job of running the agency.

Applications have been sent to: Kelly J. Cox of Leesville; Derrick McFarland and Kerry Paul, both of Lexington; Cheryl Stanton of New York City; and Ronald Taylor of West Columbia.

They are looking to replace Abraham Turner, who resigned from the department’s top job in February.

In the letter, Turner said he left for personal reasons. His resignation follows questions from legislators stemming from the department decided to eliminate one-on-one help for people seeking benefits in 17 rural offices statewide.

The agency stopped taking letters of intent for Turner’s replacement at noon.

Once the applications are returned, a search committee will begin the process of determining if each candidate is qualified and meets the job requirements.

Following a public hearing, the committee will submit the names of three qualified applicants to Gov. Nikki Haley, who will choose the finalist.