Add South Carolina Senate District 16 to the list of seats up for grabs come November.
Republican Sen. Chauncey "Greg" Gregory of Lancaster recently announced he will not seek re-election when his term expires at the end of this year. He said it's difficult to walk away after 16 years, but it's time to move on.
"I don't have much on my agenda left to accomplish," Gregory said. "Besides, change is good; new ideas are a good thing."
Before leaving the post, Gregory hopes to help Gov. Mark Sanford gain more power.
Gregory is sponsoring six resolutions to amend the state constitution to give the governor power to appoint the superintendent of education, treasurer, comptroller general, secretary of state, adjutant general and commissioner of agriculture. All of those bills are in committee.
Gregory also is sponsoring several bills dealing with smoking or tobacco products in the current session.
"I've been in favor of increasing the cigarette tax for a couple of reasons," he said. "It makes it less affordable to youth, and we can use the extra money for health care."
Vacancy creates competition for seat
Gregory will be leaving the chairman post of the Fish, Game and Forestry Committee, as well as seats on the Corrections and Penology Committee, the Education Committee and the Judiciary Committee, where he was next in line for chairman.
York County Republican Party Chairman Glenn McCall said he expects a tougher than usual fight for the seat from Democrats, while York County Democratic Party Chair Jim Watkins said several people already have expressed interest in the seat, though no one has announced a candidacy.