South Carolina center stage in early 2016 talk

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By JOSH LEDERMAN and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — For a few hours, South Carolina will be at the center of American politics.

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are speaking at political events in South Carolina on Friday night. It comes days before a special congressional election on Tuesday featuring former GOP Gov. Mark Sanford.

Only months after the 2012 presidential campaign, South Carolina is already a buzz of activity by future presidential candidates looking ahead to the state's influential "first in the South" primary.

Biden was headlining the Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner and then dropping by an annual fish fry held by South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn.

About 2 miles away, Cruz was speaking at the Silver Elephant dinner, where Republicans were honoring former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

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