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Contenders line up for Gullick's seat

A bevy of candidates are gearing up to replace state Rep. Carl Gullick, who plans to resign his District 48 seat and move to Kentucky, where his wife has taken a new job.

Gullick said last week he likely will resign this summer. He hopes to time his resignation so a special election can be held Nov. 3, the same day as municipal elections in Fort Mill and Tega Cay.

District 48 includes Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Lake Wylie and a portion of Rock Hill. The move comes after Gullick's wife, Dr. Lynn Preston, accepted a job at a medical center in western Kentucky. The couple wants to spend more time together after long stretches apart while Gullick served in the Legislature. Gullick's departure has prompted at least six candidates to consider entering the special election. Among the Republicans:

Michael Johnson, a member of the Fort Mill school board and a candidate in 2004 for the District 48 seat. Johnson, an attorney, has said he plans to run.

Roger Costner, founder and CEO of Brothers Air and Heat, a Rock Hill-based repair service. Costner will announce his bid Thursday night at an event at Beef O' Brady's restaurant in Baxter Village.

Greg Rogers, a Fort Mill native and partner in a development firm called Pinecrest Holdings, which is run by York County Councilman Paul Lindemann. Rogers says he won't declare until Gullick officially announces his resignation.

Sammy Rhodes, owner of a billboard company called Piedmont Promotions in Rock Hill. Rhodes said he has been exploring a bid but will wait on a decision from Gullick.

Meanwhile, Democrats are gearing up to support their own candidate in the District 48 race. Pansy King-Reid of Fort Mill declared her bid this month.

A Chester native, King-Reid comes from a family with a long history in politics - she's the sister of state Rep. John King, now serving his first term in the House and daughter of the late Christopher King, former mayor of Chester.

King-Reid, 39, lives off Pleasant Road and works at the family's King Funeral Home in Rock Hill. She's the ex-wife of former University of North Carolina basketball standout J.R. Reid, who went on to play for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

Another Democrat considering a run is Kathy Cantrell, former director of the Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce. Cantrell, who lives in River Hills and serves on the Clover school board, said she'll decide by next month whether to get in.