MOUNT PLEASANT -- The House District 112 race between Rep. Mike Sottile and challenger Joe Bustos is heating up.
Bustos, who is challenging Sottile in Tuesday's Republican primary, will host a town hall meeting Thursday at the Park West Clubhouse.
The former Mount Pleasant town councilman said the event, scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m., originally was planned as a debate on the fair tax sponsored by the South Carolina Fair Tax Organization.
But Sottile declined his invitation because his legislative duties will keep him at the Statehouse until late Thursday afternoon.
"I'm in Columbia doing the people's work," Sottile said.
Sottile, a former Isle of Palms mayor, has been endorsed by three East Cooper mayors -- Dick Cronin of the Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant's Billy Swails and Carl Smith of Sullivan's Island, as well as former Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry Hallman.
"That's not a surprise. He is part of the establishment," Bustos said of the support.
Sottile said he felt that Bustos is using him to get attention. Sottile said he would be willing to debate Bustos on morning talk radio, and both candidates plan to go on the air Monday during "The Morning Buzz" with Richard Todd on WTMA-AM.
Bustos ran against Sottile for the same seat two years ago. The district includes Sullivan's Island, Isle of Palms and portions of Mount Pleasant.