Four in race to fill Clementa Pinckney’s Senate seat

Clementa Pinckney

Four Democrats have filed to run in the special election to fill state Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s vacant District 45 seat covering portions of Charleston County and the lower part of the state.

The special election will be Oct. 20. Filing won’t officially close until noon Monday.

Those who have formally filed their election paperwork as of Tuesday are:

Chauncey N. Barnwell of Hardeeville in Jasper County. A defense and personal injury lawyer. His office is in Savannah but he lives in Jasper County.

William Bowman Jr. of Walterboro in Colleton County. He is a Colleton County school board member and a small businessman.

Kent D. Fletcher of Bluffton in Beaufort County. He is a faculty member with the University of Phoenix at the Savannah campus.

Kenneth F. Hodges, who is a state representative from Green Pond in Colleton County. He is also pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church.

The party primaries will be Sept. 1, with Sept. 15 set for any runoffs.

District 45 includes portions of Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. Candidates file with county election boards where they reside.

Pinckney was one of nine people killed in the June 17 shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, where he was the pastor.

The district leans heavily Democratic. In his last election in 2012, Pinckney won the seat with 66 percent of the vote to Republican Leilani Bessinger’s 34 percent.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.