Crowded SC 1st District field to be whittled down Tuesday

GOP candidates at a forum last month (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - Voters are whittling down the crowded field in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District and have a say in whether former Gov. Mark Sanford has a political future.

Voters go to the polls Tuesday in primaries in the district along the state's south coast.

There are 16 Republicans on the ballot including Sanford and Teddy Turner, the son of media owner Ted Turner. There are only two Democrats - Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert - and perennial candidate Ben Frasier.

"What I hope is that the people have had enough time to look and see who the candidates are and what they're looking at in terms of making sure we have a good representative," said Governor Nikki Haley.

Monday, Haley said she hopes for a pro-business conservative to carry the district forward.

It is Sanford's first run for office since a 2009 scandal in which he admitted an affair that derailed his political career.

Coming in from the left, Elizabeth Colbert Busch has been gathering support not only from her famous brother, but Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and former opponents Martin Skelly and Bobbie Rose.

The seat became vacant when Haley appointed Tim Scott to fill the U.S. Senate seat left empty when Jim DeMint resigned to join a Republican think tank.

Due to the high number of candidates, popular opinion expects a runoff to follow Tuesday's primary.

"Oh yeah, we're planning for a runoff," said Joe Debney, Charleston County's director of elections. "Even if there's not one we want to make sure we've done everything we can to be prepared for an April 2 run off."

The GOP winner will run a third time in the May 7 special election.

A debate between the two top Republican vote-getters is set for March 28 at Porter Gaud school.

To see videos of each candidate as they appeared on ABC News 4, click on the corresponding name.

Republican candidates filing for the 1st Congressional District:

Keith Blanford

Curtis Bostic

Ric Bryant

Larry Grooms

Jonathan Hoffman

Jeff King

John Kuhn

Tim Larkin

Chip Limehouse (declined invitation to appear)

Peter McCoy

Elizabeth Moffly

Ray Nash

Andy Patrick

Shawn Pinkston

Mark Sanford

Teddy Turner

Democratic candidates filing for the 1st Congressional District:

Elizabeth Colbert Busch

Ben Frasier

Green Party:

Eugene Platt


Polling Location Changes

There are two polling location changes for Tuesday's election. Voters in Mt. Pleasant who used to vote at Whitesides Elementary School will now vote at Sullivan's Island Elementary School.

Voters who once cast their ballot at the Jewish Community Center in West Ashley's St. Andrews 20 district will now vote at West Ashley Middle School.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.