Politics

S.C. Supreme Court: House 114 seat race back on for Tuesday

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that the election for State House of Representatives District 114 will take place Tuesday, overruling the decision of the state Election Commission. The Supreme Court decision, however, leaves a loophole that means a special election still could happen. The Election Commission ruled Thursday that a special election should be held after the state Republican…

South Carolina Election Commission sets special election in state House 114 race

The South Carolina Election Commission on Thursday reversed its Monday ruling and ordered a special election be held to fill the District 114 state House of Representatives seat. The South Carolina Election Commission met Thursday to discuss the House District 114 election. (photo by Allen Wallace) Incumbent Bobby Harrell was the Republican nominee for the seat, but he agreed to…

Tom Ervin withdraws from race for governor, endorses Sheheen

Independent Tom Ervin withdrew Tuesday from the race to be South Carolina’s next governor and threw his support behind Democrat state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (file photo by Allen Wallace) Ervin initially entered the Republican primary, opposing Gov. Nikki Haley before choosing to run as as independent. Ervin labeled himself an “independent Republican,” making his decision to…

Lexington One School Board candidates debate Grading for Learning, funding district growth

The five candidates up for three seats on the Lexington One School Board shared their individual vision for the fast-growing district Monday during a candidate forum at Midway Elementary School. Among the topics for discussion were the Grading for Learning system, district budget and how to prepare for the future. Candidates for the three seats up for re-election are incumbents…

UPDATE: Bobby Harrell pleads guilty to misuse of campaign funds, sentenced to 3 years probation

Former South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell pleaded guilty Thursday to six counts of using campaign funds for personal use. Former South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell left court Tuesday after pleading guilty to six counts of using campaign funds for personal use. (photo by Allen Wallace) Harrell agreed to resign from the House effective Thursday and, as part of…

South Carolina Democrats, Republicans unite to support proposed constitutional amendment

A rare event in South Carolina occurred Tuesday morning on the Statehouse grounds as leaders of the state’s two major political parties joined to support the same side on a ballot question. South Carolina Adjutant General Bob Livingston speaks to member of the media Tuesday. Behind him were other supporters including Jaime Harrison (from left), state Rep. James Smith and…

South Carolina Supreme Court halts same-sex marriage in state pending federal ruling

The South Carolina Supreme Court issued an order Thursday forbidding probate court judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending a ruling by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Colleen Condon (left) and Malissa Burnette await the Supreme Court decision Thursday. (photo by Allen Wallace) The order came in response to a request for an injunction filed by…

Richland County Elections Board chairwoman: ‘I am not confident’ in voting machine security

The first meeting of the new Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board on Tuesday included confusion over rules and a dispute over the security of the county’s voting machines. The Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board at Tuesday’s meeting: vice chair Adell Adams (from left to right), chairwoman Marjorie Johnson, Sylvia Holley, Pete Kennedy, Jane Dreher Emerson, and Interim…

Sheheen, Sellers call for removal of Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds

The Democratic candidates for South Carolina governor and lieutenant governor are calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. The Confederate flag flies in front of the Statehouse Wednesday. (photo by Allen Wallace) State Sen. Vincent Sheheen and state Rep. Bakari Sellers made their public appeal Wednesday. “Today, we are charting a new path for South…

Third-party candidate forum focuses on choice, voice of Midlands voters

Candidates representing five different parties gathered Monday night at Columbia College to discuss the issues at a third-party candidate forum. They disagreed on some issues but stood united in the opinion that the two-party system in American politics is broken and needs to be changed. Claudia Smith Brinson (center) leads a discussion of the value of third-party candidates at Monday…

Lexington-Richland District Five to host school board candidate forums

Voters in Lexington-Richland School District Five can learn about the candidates for school board seats at several forums in October. The school district has organized a series of public forums with support from the District Five School Improvement Councils and District Five Teacher Forum. Nine people filed to run on the Nov. 4 ballot. Forums for Richland County candidates will be…

Columbia College set to host forum Monday for third-party candidates

Democrat and Republican candidates for elected office tend to draw the most attention, but the spotlight will shine on candidates from other parties Monday evening in Columbia. Columbia College will host a forum for third-party candidates, who make up 20 percent of the candidates in South Carolina’s state and federal elections this year. The event is free and open to the public. The…

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell suspends himself from office following indictment

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell suspended himself from that office Thursday following his indictment a day earlier by a Richland County grand jury. S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell (file photo by Allen Wallace) State law requires the House speaker to suspend any member of the House indicted on a charge that carries a potential sentence of more than two…

Social workers’ association endorses state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in gubernatorial race

South Carolina’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is endorsing state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the race to be the South Carolina’s next governor. The group made the announcement Tuesday afternoon. Sen. Vincent Sheheen (file photo by Allen Wallace) “As social workers, it’s our job to protect children, families, and South Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. For South Carolina to be…

Chapin special referendum date again under question

The Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections again has approved the date for a special referendum to take place in Chapin on Sept. 30. The town’s mayor, however, says the date was set illegally. Mayor Skip Wilson explained last week during the August council meeting that the town’s ordinance governing elections gave the authority to set special election dates to…

Election 2014: Filing period wraps up for school board seats

Campaigning officially has started for Lexington and Richland county school board seats up for re-election this November. Each of the seven local districts has multiple trustees’ terms ending, and most of the incumbents filed to run again. Seats are nonpartisan. School board members are responsible for creating policy for schools and employees as well as hiring superintendents and approving the…

Date still uncertain for Chapin strong-mayor referendum vote

Chapin residents will have to wait a few more days to learn when they will vote on the town’s form of government. It was discovered during discussions between Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson and the Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections that a municipal election commission still has the authority to set election dates under town code. Wilson said Wednesday during the…

Panelists at USC forum say state Sen. Vincent Sheheen has steep uphill climb in gubernatorial race

A group of professors who follow state politics closely say the odds are in favor of a second term in office for Gov. Nikki Haley. Thursday night’s panel featured Scott Buchanan (from left), Scott Huffmon, Todd Shaw, Alissa Warters, David Woodard and moderator Charles Bierbauer. (photo by Allen Wallace) The University of South Carolina hosted a symposium on the gubernatorial…

Election 2014: Filing opens Friday for Cayce City Council, school board seats in Lexington, Richland counties

Residents who desire to play a more active role in their community government can file for an open seat on City Council or their district’s school board starting this week. Filing for several November races opens Friday at noon and will remain open until noon Aug. 15. Elections offices in Richland and Lexington counties will be available to candidates during…

Thomas Ravenel files petition to run for U.S. Senate

Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, who resigned from that office after pleading guilty to federal cocaine distribution charges, filed a petition Monday to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Lindsey Graham. Thomas Ravenel (photo courtesy of the Thomas Ravenel campaign) Ravenel presented a petition to the South Carolina Election Commission, saying it had more than…

Former candidate Don Jordan endorses Molly Spearman in education superintendent runoff

The Democratic and Republic runoffs for state superintendent of education are coming up Tuesday, and one candidate has received and endorsement from a former opponent. Republican candidate and Saluda County native Molly Spearman recently received support from former Republican candidate Don Jordan. Jordan, a professor at the University of South Carolina, received nearly 6 percent of the vote during primary…

Sen. Vincent Sheheen calls for leadership at state education association conference

Gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Vincent Sheheen told educators Tuesday at the South Carolina Education Association annual conference that the state’s future is rooted in a strong public education system. “South Carolina deserves a leader they can trust in the governor’s office, who will lead on education instead of making devastating cuts for three years before turning school funding into an…

Local leaders sign regional transportation resolution to seek millions from state infrastructure bank

City and county leaders are presenting a united front in an effort to improve transportation in the Midlands as they seek a $336 million grant from the state. “This marks a historic day in the Midlands,” said Richland County Council Chairman Norman Jackson. “This project will foster economic competitiveness, enhance citizens’ quality of life and create a stronger economic base…