January isn't over and the race for Lancaster County's state House District 44 is heating up with three candidates in the race as two Democrats have announced their plans to seek the seat along with Republican Joseph Coy.
We've heard that Mandy Powers-Norrell, a Lancaster attorney who ran a heated state Senate race in 2008 against now-Congressman Mick Mulvaney back in 2008, is in the running, as is Kershaw attorney Bob Cook. Cook worked under former Democratic Governor Jim Hodges and is currently in private practice. With both having long roots in the district and established political resumes and networks, one can expect a primary match as contentious as the Senate race four years ago.
We're hearing more are looking at the race from the Republican side as well.
Republicans are expected to take a serious shot at picking up the seat, which is being vacated by incumbent Democratic Rep. Jimmy Neal, after waging a strong bid for the seat in 2010 and seeing the county go for GOP Congressman Mick Mulvaney's upset win over former Congressman John Spratt.