By Paul Gable
The South Carolina Republican Party has dipped into its array of shenanigans to interfere in two Horry County races for the S. C. House of Representatives.
Earlier this week, the state party paid for and sent out mailers supporting Alan Clemmons (D-107) and Heather Ammons Crawford (D-68) against their Republican challengers in the upcoming June 9, 2020 primaries.
In all my years of covering politics in Horry County, this is the first time I can recall where a state political party felt the need to inject itself into primary contests.
The act is specifically prohibited in Horry County Republican Party by-laws:
“Section 1-A. Elected and appointed officials of the Horry County Republican party shall not endorse, work for, assist, or allow their name to be used in support of a Republican candidate who has opposition from another Republican candidate during a Primary or Run-off election.”
Obviously the SCGOP conducts itself with different rules.
However, according to SCGOP rules: “No one is empowered to incur indebtedness or financial obligation on the part of the South Carolina Republican Party unless expressly authorized to do so by the state convention or the state executive committee.”
Therefore, the SCGOP Executive Committee had to vote to approve these emails, according to SCGOP rules.
What makes a state party feel the need to support an incumbent over a challenger in their own primary election?
Obviously this is good ole’ boy politics at its best.
One interesting fact about this whole mess is that Mark Epps, challenger to Crawford, is a 24 year retired Army combat veteran.
It would seem the SCGOP is attempting to deny to Epps the rights that Epps put his life on the line to protect. So much for a party that professes to support veterans.
Epps said he believes the district to which he returned after retiring from the Army has been underserved by Crawford, especially with respect to flooding.
The challenger to Clemmons is Case Brittain of the family of defense lawyers. Brittain said he will serve all the citizens in his district, not just the special interests that have been served for the past 18 years by his opponent.
Ultimately it is up to the voters to determine who best will serve their interests.
However, these tactics are exactly the same as those professional political party insiders attempted to use to keep Donald Trump from being nominated for President in 2016.
There is no reason to believe they will be any more successful in this year’s primaries. The voters are tired of those who attempt to be professional politicians at every level.
(Click on the below arrow to view the video story I did of this interference)