Confusion over an obscure ethics form has overshadowed traditional campaign issues in the weeks leading up to South Carolina’s problem-plagued primary.
Instead of talk about taxes and government spending, legal challenges have stolen the limelight. Incumbents watched as waves of opponents had their political hopes dashed.
Following two recent South Carolina Supreme Court rulings, at least 215 Democratic and Republican hopefuls across the state have been banished from the ballot for failing to properly file what is known as a statement of economic interests. The number of ineligible candidates may grow before voters head to the polls Tuesday.
Fifteen of out 23 challengers in Anderson and Pickens counties who filed to run in March were deemed ineligible. In Oconee County, 11 of 13 candidates faced the same fate, prompting election officials to cancel the Republican primary.
Still on the ballot
The following races remain on the ballot for Tuesday’s primary in Anderson County:
Anderson County Council District 1
Francis Crowder, incumbent
State Senate District 3
Kevin Bryant, incumbent
Don Bowen Jr.
State Senate District 4
Billy O’Dell, incumbent
State House District 10
Joshua Putnam, incumbent
3rd Congressional District
“No one in either party saw this train wreck coming,” said Matt Moore, executive director of the South Carolina GOP.
Robert Oldendick, a University of South Carolina political science professor, said the ballot chaos is unprecedented in state history.
“Nothing of this scope has ever happened before, and it probably won’t happen again,” Oldendick said in an interview Saturday.
- Problem-plagued primary confuses candidates (independentmail.com)
- Campaign notes: Bungled ballot fuels primary fallout (independentmail.com)
- Primary upheaval expected to bring outcry for reform (independentmail.com)
- ? Campaign notes 6-10 (independentmail.com)
- Pickens County GOP head wants lawmakers recalled to fix primary problems (independentmail.com)
- GOP Primary Election Canceled In Oconee Co.; Upheaval Statewide (wspa.com)
- SC justices scold GOP lawyer for ignoring order (thestate.com)
- SC sheriff’s race marred by kidnapping allegation (sacbee.com)
- The South Carolina Con (garnetspy.com)