While Jim DeMint’s decision to leave the U.S. Senate was arguably the best thing to happen in South Carolina politics this year, the second best thing was what happened after DeMint left. First, Gov. Nikki Haley tapped U.S. Rep. Tim Scott to fill DeMint’s junior senator seat, and then a whole gaggle of wannabes and also-rans decided to seek out the GOP nomination for Scott’s now-vacated House of Representatives post. There’s Charleston County School District board member Elizabeth Moffly, one head on the three-headed attention-mongering monster that used to bring school board meetings to a grinding halt to discuss only the most inconsequential and nitpicky matters. And then there’s former Dorchester County sheriff Ray Nash, who thought the best way to establish himself as a force in Lowcountry politics was to take a job in Kabul, Afghanistan. And we can’t forget former Homeland Security deputy director Jonathan Hoffman, who told the City Paper’s Paul Bowers that we need to “protect the identity of the nation,” adding, “You have shared values, shared culture, shared language, shared respect for the Constitution, shared respect for our history. You need to maintain that identity. If you don’t have that identity as a nation, that’s problematic.” Yikes. Isn’t that what got the GOP into the current mess they’re in? And those are only three of the 16 candidates currently battling it out for the Republican Party nomination for the District 1 seat.