Charleston County Republicans will meet next month to choose among three candidates to be their party’s new leader.

That meeting was set Monday, just hours after former Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Joe Bustos abruptly resigned as county party chairman. Bustos had served in the post only a few weeks after ousting former Chairwoman Lin Bennett last month.

His resignation came as other Republicans questioned if he should hold that post and run for mayor of Mount Pleasant later this year.

Instead of choosing his replacement Monday, party leaders agreed to wait until their July 8 meeting, when they will choose among three nominees: Fair Tax advocate John Steinberger, who is serving as interim chairman; funeral home director Mark Smith; and former Bush White House official and former 1st Congressional District candidate Jonathan Hoffman.

Smith said Tuesday he has focused his efforts on building up the East Cooper Republican Club and has been monitoring the county party, which could have four chairmen in as many months.

“It’s time to right the ship and get focused on winning elections,” he said.

Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Chris Nickels, who was one of about 60 people at the meeting, said the party did vote not to allow future chairmen to seek office at the same time. Previously, only seeking partisan office was prohibited.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.