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Before redistricting, change of power coming in SC Senate

South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler presides over the Senate after being reelected to...
South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler presides over the Senate after being reelected to his leadership position at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Peeler is expected to step down as Senate president to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.(Associated Press)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:14 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) — Before the South Carolina Senate takes up redistricting Monday, the chamber’s president will likely step down to take charge of its most powerful committee.

Senators expect Harvey Peeler of Gaffney to take off the purple robe signifying the person in charge of the Senate and step into the chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee.

Peeler is the chamber’s longest serving Republican at 41 years.

The Senate’s third-longest serving Republican, Sen. Thomas Alexander of Walhalla, is expected to be elected unchallenged as the new president.

The change in power was put into motion after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman died last month at age 90.

Prior to serving in that role, Leatherman served as President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, a role that was eliminated in favor of a Senate president position in a 2019 vote. Senators passed a resolution to give Leatherman the ceremonial title of President Pro Tempore Emeritus in recognition of his many years of service.

Peeler became the state’s first Senate President on Jan. 8, 2019.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this story. All rights reserved.