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Republican Declines Bid for New South Carolina Seat

State Rep. Alan Clemmons (R), considered a top contender for South Carolina’s new 7th district, said he would not make a bid for Congress, according to the Sun News.

Reapportionment granted the state a new district, which the GOP-controlled Legislature placed in the northeastern part of the state. The new 7th is anchored in Horry County, the home of Myrtle Beach. State Rep. Thad Viers (R) and former Lt. Gov. André Bauer (R) are the early frontrunners. State Rep. Phillip Lowe (R), eyeing a bid, told Roll Call he will make a decision on a run in the next two weeks. Given the GOP bent of the open seat, state political operatives expect a primary with many other contenders.

The state Republican Party will hold a 7th district debate on Jan. 15.

Roll Call rates the new seat Safe Republican, but state Sen. Dick Elliott (D) said in an interview that he thought a Democrat could win the district. He said he will decide on whether to run by late January. Other potential Democratic candidates are state Rep. Ted Vick and lawyer Preston Brittain.

The state’s redistricting map was precleared by the Department of Justice late Friday, solidifying the new lines that shore up Palmetto State incumbents in addition to creating the new safe-for-the-GOP district.

The DOJ’s decision means House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn will likely be the state’s one Democrat in the 113th Congress.

Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the DOJ or the federal District Court for the District of Columbia must preapprove any changes to voting lines in certain states, including South Carolina.

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