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      Courson resigns his position as SC Senate leader

      By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Sen. John Courson has resigned his position as leader of the South Carolina Senate, saying he will not be forced to become lieutenant governor.

      The Columbia Republican stepped down Wednesday as Senate president pro tem. He said he made the decision after learning Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell still planned to resign his office Thursday, rather than wait until the Legislature wraps up its work in two weeks.

      Courson says he hopes his decision changes McConnell's mind.

      Courson was next in line to be lieutenant governor in a vacancy. Voters will choose McConnell's replacement in November.

      Both McConnell and Gov. Nikki Haley have said the office shouldn't be vacant that long.

      Courson says their positions are purely political. McConnell becomes president of the College of Charleston next month.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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