By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Rep. Jay Lucas has been sworn in as the speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
The House elected the Hartsville Republican as their leader without any objections. No vote was taken.
Lucas has been the lone candidate since two other Republicans vying to replace Bobby Harrell withdrew Sept. 30.
As speaker pro tem, Lucas has been acting speaker since Harrell suspended himself Sept. 11 following his indictment. The Charleston Republican pleaded guilty in October to six misdemeanor campaign spending violations and resigned.
Lucas had been second in command since 2010. Lucas advocates changing House rules to lessen the speaker's power.
The House elected Republican Rep. Tommy Pope of York as speaker pro tem.
Representatives returned to Columbia on Tuesday for a special, two-day organizational session.