Rep. Mick Mulvaney wants to be a senator. The second-term Republican, who knocked off Democrat John Spratt in 2010, has been seen as a likely statewide candidate even before he won office.

Former Attorney General Henry McMaster could play the role of caretaker before a successor is elected in a 2014 special election. McMaster lost to Haley in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, but he endorsed Haley in the runoff and the two have a good relationship (McMaster’s press secretary in 2010, Rob Godfrey, went to work for Haley and still works as her official press secretary).

State Rep. Nathan Ballentine was Haley’s closest confidante in the state House, at a time when she didn’t have a lot of allies. He’s the dark horse.

Rep. Tim Scott, another Republican first elected in 2010, would be the lone African American in the Senate if he’s elected. But our sources say Scott wants to be governor rather than a senator.