Idea of appointing schools chief fails in Senate

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — An effort to let the governor choose South Carolina's education chief has failed in the Senate, but supporters vow to try again.

A measure asking voters whether they want to continue electing the state superintendent failed 27-16. That was four votes shy of the two-thirds needed to put a constitutional referendum on the ballot.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin supports the measure but switched sides as he realized the motion would fail. That enabled him to resurrect the issue. After his request for a do-over vote passed, the Senate adjourned.

A vote to kill a bill outright on the floor is rare. Martin says senators in charge of the pre-vote head-counting did a sorry job.

Previous attempts to put the question to voters haven't gotten this far in the Senate.

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