COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — State senators have elected Senator Thomas Alexander of Oconee County as their next President.

President Alexander was first elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1994. He served in the South Carolina House from 1987 to 1994.

As President, he will now preside over the Senate.

Former President, Senator Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee) stepped down from his role of President to take over as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Monday afternoon.

Late Senator Hugh Leatherman held the chairmanship for that committee until his passing in November.

Under Senate rules, a committee chairman cannot hold the Presidency.

President Alexander will also be giving up his chairmanship of the Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee. Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) will take over as chairman of the LCI committee.

Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) said in a statement:

“We thank Senator Peeler for his devoted leadership over the South Carolina Senate during his time as Senate President, and look forward to working with him as he transitions into his role as Chairman of Finance. We also congratulate Senator Alexander as he steps up as Senate President, and welcome the opportunity to work with him moving forward. His experience and wisdom will serve the people of South Carolina well as he leads the Senate.”

Sen. Brad Hutto/D-Orangeburg