S.C. Senator Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence) is already the most powerful politician in South Carolina … but he could be on the verge of growing even stronger.

The former Democrat – who sits on the state’s powerful budget board and serves as chairman of the Senate’s influential finance committee – is reportedly being eyed by Democrats and a handful of “Republicans” for the powerful post of Senate President.

That office was vacated last week by S.C. Senator John Courson (RINO-Richland) – who surrendered it in order to avoid inheriting the largely powerless lieutenant governor’s office, which is about to be vacated by Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell (RINO-Charleston).

Musical chairs, right? Exactly … and let’s not forget McConnell only inherited the lieutenant governor’s office because its prior occupant, Ken Ard (RINO-Florence), was indicted for his role in a cash-for-contributions scam unearthed by this website.

Anyway … if Democrats have their way, here’s what is going to happen: First, S.C. Sen. Yancey McGill (D-Williamsburg) will be elected Senate President on a very interim basis. Almost as soon as he takes the job, though, he will “ascend” to the vacant lieutenant governor’s office – which he will hold until January 2015.

At that point, McGill – an endangered white rural Democrat – will either “go gently into that good night” or wait a year and set up shop as a State House lobbyist.

With McGill’s election and “ascension” out of the way, the real race for Senate President will begin … with Leatherman hoping to reprise his governing coalition of Democrats and fiscally liberal “Republicans” (including former Democrats Luke Rankin and Billy O’Dell) in an effort to become the next Senate President.

Can he win enough votes?

Sources tell us Leatherman has already received commitments from at least four “Republicans” – not counting himself.¬†Assuming all seventeen Democrats vote in a block for him, that would put Leatherman at 22 votes – just one vote shy of the number he needs to be elected Senate President.