Former Midlands TV anchor enters state Senate race

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The race for state Senate District 23 was thrown a major curveball Thursday with the announcement from a former WIS anchor and reporter that she intends to enter the race.

Kara Gormley Meador enters an already crowded field of contenders in the form of former Lexington County GOP chair Katrina Shealy and incumbent Sen. Jake Knotts.

Meador says she had been considering the decision for a while and planned on rolling out her campaign on March 1, but rumors began to spread that she was looking to make a run at the  seat.

Meador gave up her spot as the Sunrise anchor almost 2 years ago, but that didn't really slow her down much. Now with three young boys, Meador could be entering an even more male-dominated world in the Senate -- a legislative body with no female representation.

"It is about time to get a female voice in there," said Meador. "We need diversity. This is not a proper representation of our state -- an all-male body."

Meanwhile, Shealy says she welcomes Meador in the race.

Shealy lost to Knotts by a little more than 400 votes in 2008 and decided to launch a second attempt 2 years ago, after Knotts got into hot water over his use of a racial slur to describe President Obama and then-candidate Nikki Haley.

"I think maybe at one time he may have been the right person for the job, but I think now you know, his time has come," said Shealy. "It's time for new leadership. I think the people of Lexington County want new leadership."

Knotts wasn't available for an on-camera interview. However, he did respond to both women. "Let them sign up and run," he said.

There is a major problem shaping up with Meador's effort, however. The state's redistricting plan, which has yet to be finalized, it appears Meador will not end up in Senate District 23. Her candidacy could be over before it begins.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.