In this strangest of all election seasons, the voters of SC House District 107 are going to the polls next week to vote in what may be the strangest of all – a special primary election to nominate a Republican candidate for the November general election.
Case Brittain, the defeated candidate from the June Republican primary for District 107, and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride are the candidates on the ballot for the special primary.
Only two months ago, Alan Clemmons won the regular Republican primary for nomination to what would have been his tenth term as representative for District 107.
Five weeks later, Clemmons resigned from the House and sent an affidavit to the SC Election Commission citing the necessity of concentrating on his family and law practice as reasons for removing himself as the Republican candidate.
It is important to note here that Clemmons affirmed to the election commission, under penalty of perjury, that his dropping out as the nominated candidate was for “non-political reasons”, a requirement for the party to conduct a special election to nominate a replacement candidate for the general election.
Nowhere in Clemmons’ statement did it mention the widely circulated story that Clemmons expects to be selected as the Master in Equity judge for Horry County when the position becomes vacant next July. South Carolina law requires a member of the General Assembly to be out of office for a minimum of one year before they can become a judge or a lobbyist. The Master in Equity position currently pays approximately $180,000 per year. State funded pensions are based on a person’s highest three years of salary.
Shortly after resigning from the House, Clemmons received the appointment of the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to serve on the three member South Carolina Board of Economic Advisers, a position that supposedly “specific working knowledge and experience in economics, revenue forecasting, and the state budget process,” according to state law. The position pays $8,000 per year and, more importantly, qualifies for state funded benefits such as health insurance and retirement.