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      McConnell becomes SC's lieutenant governor

      former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell has been sworn in as South Carolina's new lieutenant governor.

      McConnell took the oath of office shortly after noon Tuesday from Chief Justice Jean Toal.

      The Charleston Republican reluctantly gives up his powerful position as Senate President Pro Tem and Judiciary Committee chairman to assume a role largely viewed as ceremonial.

      Senators gave McConnell a standing ovation. Majority Leader Harvey Peeler of Gaffney and Minority Leader John Land of Manning helped McConnell into the lieutenant governor's robe.

      He steps into the statewide position following a tumultuous Friday in which former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned and pleaded guilty t o campaign fraud. The Republican was sentenced to five years of probation and 300 hours of public service for campaign finance violations.