The selection of South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott to fill Jim DeMint’s Senate seat will open the door to what’s expected to be a crowded, hard-fought special election to succeed him.

More than a half-dozen prospective candidates are being mentioned for Scott’s seat, which encompasses the Charleston and Hilton Head areas. Among them: state House Majority Whip Jimmy Merrill, state Rep. Chip Limehouse, and state Sens. Larry Grooms and Chip Campsen.