Former Lieutenant Gov. Andre Bauer said Thursday he may run for South Carolina’s brand new Seventh Congressional District covering the Grand Strand and beyond.

“I am thinking about it,” Bauer said Thursday. “I have been making a lot of calls to business leaders and community leaders. I’m excited. I’ve been getting great response.”

Bauer, whose sister lives in Mount Pleasant and whose mother lives at Folly Beach, lived in Charleston during much of his eight-term tenure as lieutenant governor. He moved to Greenville as he prepared to run for governor in 2008. Earlier this year, he moved to the Myrtle Beach.

“Like most people I retired and moved to the coast,” Bauer joked.

Bauer said he expects to make a decision soon as to whether to run. “I feel like you’ve got to make a decision this year,” he said.

Republican state Rep. Thad Viers of Myrtle Beach already has entered the race, as has Democrat Parnell Diggs, a former president of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina.

Others said to be mulling a bid include state Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-North Myrtle Beach, conservative author Mande Wilkes and Georgetown County businessman Jim Mader.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.