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S.C. Senator Phillip Shoopman will not seek re-election, Rep. Corbin to run for seat

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UPDATED (04/16/12, 1:30 p.m.):

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. In a telephone conversation with the Tribune this afternoon, S.C. Representative Tom Corbin has confirmed that he will be filing to run for the S.C. District 5 Senate seat now that S.C. Senator Phillip Shoopman will not be running for re-election.

It was announced earlier today that the SCGOP would re-open the filing process following Shoopman's withdrawal from the race on Sunday. (See original story below.)

"The reason that I am running is that we need solid conservative representation in the District," said Corbin.

At present, Corbin will face Greer businesswoman Amanda Somers, who is running in her first election, in the primary on June 12.

Corbin, who said he first learned on Saturday that Senator Shoopman was not going to seek re-election, said the decision to file to run for the seat was not taken lightly.

"This is something I have been seriously contemplating for a couple of days," Corbin said. "I believe it is the right thing to do."

Corbin, from Travelers Rest, is serving his first term in the House of Representatives. If he wins the District 5 Senate seat, a special election will be held to fill his seat in the House.

Rumors that Corbin was considering running first broke earlier today in a report on the political blogging website FitsNews.com.

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ORIGINAL STORY (04/15/12, 9:56 a.m.):

COLUMBIA, S.C. – S.C. Senator Phillip Shoopman (R-Greenville) – who represents District 5 (map) – announced that he will not seek re-election to another term.

S.C. Senator Phillip Shoopman

The decision not to run was announced in a letter to the SCGOP on Sunday.

"I have strived to provide the best level of service to the people of the district and state," wrote Shoopman. "However, it has become obvious that I cannot continue to provide the desired level of service and maintain adequate time with my family and private work."

A professional engineer, Shoopman was set to face Greer businesswoman Amanda Somers in the South Carolina primaries on June 12.

Shoopman served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 2007 – 2008, where he served as the majority whip in 2007. He has served in the S.C. Senate since 2009.

"Senator Shoopman has consistently defended taxpayers and provided strong, honest leadership," said SCGOP Chairman Chad Connelly. "His retirement is a real loss for district five and the South Carolina Senate."

Based on Shoopman's decision, the South Carolina Republican Party says they will re-open Republican candidate filing for Senate District Five.

Filing for the seatwhich originally ran from March 16 through March 30 will open at noon on Monday, April 16, 2012, and will close at noon on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

The filing fee is $416, and potential candidates can contact Greenville County Republican Party Chairwoman Betty Poe (864-907-1577) or Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairwoman LaDonna Ryggs (864-906-5574) to file.

Filing paperwork can be found here.

(Photos courtesy of SCStatehouse.gov. Top: S.C. Representative Tom Corbin, Bottom: S.C. Senator Philip Shoopman)


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