CHARLESTON, S.C. — Six candidates have filed for a special election to fill an empty seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Filing has closed for the seat given up by Daniel Island Republican Jim Merrill. The former House majority leader pleaded guilty earlier this month to misconduct in office.

Five Republicans and one Democrat filed for the seat.

Most of the Republicans live on Daniel Island. They are South Carolina Chamber of Commerce retiree Bernie Bell, franchise consultant Jarrod Brooks, businesswoman Nancy Mace and Shawn Pinkston. Mount Pleasant Town Council Mark Smith is also seeking the GOP nomination in the Nov. 14 primary.

The only Democrat is Cindy Boatwright, a mental health counselor from Mount Pleasant.

A Republican runoff would be Nov. 28, if needed.

The special election is Jan. 16.