Two Republicans vying for House speaker are removing themselves from the race, meaning Hartsville Rep. Jay Lucas is likely to be speaker for the next two years.
Lucas has been acting speaker since Bobby Harrell suspended himself from office earlier this month following his indictment on nine misdemeanor charges. Lucas has been the chamber’s second in command as speaker pro tem since 2010.
Reps. Kenny Bingham of Cayce and Jim Merrill of Charleston also were asking colleagues to support them as the House’s next speaker. But they sent a joint letter Tuesday exiting the race and endorsing Lucas, who was expected to have the votes to win.
The House will officially vote during an organizational session after the November elections on who will be speaker for the next two years.