Retiring Democrat briefly leads SC Senate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Retiring Democratic Sen. Phil Leventis has taken a brief turn directing the Republican-controlled chamber.

The Sumter senator presided over the session’s opening 10 minutes Tuesday.

Leventis is retiring after 32 years. He is known for using filibusters to block measures. The 66-year-old former fighter pilot and retired brigadier general served in the Air Force from 1969 to 1974 and the South Carolina Air National Guard from 1974 to 1999.

Senate leaders are giving all retiring senators a brief turn as temporary Senate president.

Leventis’ turn came on a day senators received recognition pins for length of service. The regular session ends Thursday.

Other long-term senators retiring are Senate Minority Leader John Land of Manning, Ralph Anderson of Greenville, Dick Elliott of North Myrtle Beach and Greg Ryberg of Aiken.

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