A person close to Gov. Nikki Haley says the chief executive has narrowed her choice to five finalists to replace U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.
Her short list means South Carolina could have its first black U.S. senator or first female senator.
The person with knowledge of the process says the Republican governor is choosing among U.S. Reps. Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy, former first lady Jenny Sanford, state agency director Catherine Templeton, and former state Attorney General Henry McMaster.
The person requested anonymity because the person isn't authorized to speak about the choice publicly.
DeMint announced last week that he was resigning to take the helm of a national conservative think tank.
State law gives Haley sole authority to pick his replacement until 2014, when voters will choose who fulfills the final two years of DeMint's term.