McConnell plans to take oath for lt. gov. position Tuesday
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell said his new role won't come easy. He described it as a sacrifice.
McConnell shared his thoughts Friday in North Charleston on taking the reigns as lieutenant governor. McConnell, according to the state's constitution, is to be the new lieutenant governor now that Ken Ard has resigned. Approximately 2.5 years remains in his term.
Ard pleaded guilty to seven counts of violating state ethics laws Friday afternoon. He was sentenced to five years probation and 300 hours of public service. The plea came shortly after an announcement by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson during which Wilson said a grand jury indicted the lieutenant governor for seven counts of misuse of campaign funds.
McConnell said he plans to take the oath on Tuesday, leaving behind the most powerful seat on the state Senate. McConnell held the position as Senate president pro tem for more than 10 years.
A special election will be held to fill McConnell's Senate seat. A primary will be held on May 29. A general election is scheduled for July 17.
During the announcement Friday, several local and state level government leaders spoke in support of McConnell.
Rep. Chip Limehouse said the Senate Pro Tem "is going to be a great lieutenant governor."
"Glenn McConnell is a master at the legislative process. He's experienced in economic development. He's been around the block a time or two. He understands how government works to help people," Limehouse said.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said McConnell will be the best lieutenant governor he has seen in his lifetime."
McConnell said he is waiting until Tuesday to take the oath of office, because he's still recovering from a serious tick bite.
When asked if he would try to come back and serve in the Senate after his term as lieutenant governor, McConnell said his focus right now is on making the transition to the new role, but he isn't closing any doors.
If McConnell were to return to the Senate, he would lose his seniority.
Ken Ard was sworn in as the 88th lieutenant governor of South Carolina on January 12, 2011 despite allegations that arose during his campaign about the potential misuse of funds. Ard made his way to the general election after defeating GOP underdog Lt. Col. Bill Connor in a runoff election.
The filing period for anyone interested in McConnell's position on the Senate begins at noon March 30 and closes at noon on April 9.
* ABC News 4's Nikki Gaskins and Brian Troutman contributed to this report.