Rutherford elected leader of House Democrats

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Rep. Todd Rutherford has been elected leader of South Carolina’s House Democrats.

The Columbia Democrat replaces Rep. Harry Ott as House minority leader.

Rutherford was elected in a 33-12 vote Tuesday over Rep. Ted Vick of Chesterfield. The vote was behind closed doors.

Ott decided not to seek re-election after eight years in the post, saying he couldn’t commit to another two years.

Earlier Tuesday, Senate Republicans re-elected Harvey Peeler of Gaffney as Senate majority leader for the next four years. The Senate GOP voted unanimously for Peeler in a meeting open to the public.

Peeler has been majority leader since 2005.

House Republicans and Senate Democrats elected their leaders in organizational sessions after the November elections.

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