SC House to return to Columbia to elect leaders

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina House members are scheduled to return to Columbia this week to elect their leaders for the next two years.

The House's organizational session begins Tuesday. The session occurs every two years, after voters elect their representatives.

For most positions, it's a matter of going through the motions.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell will likely retain the powerful post he's held since 2005.

The speaker will hand out committee posts Wednesday. Committees will then choose their chairmen.

One top spot is vacant due to the retirement of Rep. Jim Harrison, who led the Judiciary Committee for 18 years.

Members will also choose where they sit in the chamber.

Republicans currently hold 77 of 123 House seats. A special election in March will fill an empty Greenville County seat.