Last Man Standing for Senate 41 Is Tinkler
As of Wednesday afternoon, Democrat Paul Tinkler is the only candidate on the November ballot for the District 41 seat.
On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Earnest Kinard sided with plaintiff George Tempel in a lawsuit challenging Republican Paul Thurmond's eligibility as a candidate in that race. Kinard's ruling seems to leave the door open for the Charleston County Republican Party to find a replacement candidate.
Charleston County GOP Chair Lin Bennett was not available for comment Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, the South Carolina State Election Commission rejected Sen. Walter Hundley's petition to put his name on the general election ballot for the race. The Commission also rejected Wally Burbage's petition for candidacy.
With Kinard's ruling Monday and the S.C. State Election Commission's rejection of Hundley's petition, Paul Tinkler's name will be the only one voters see on Nov. 6.
"Tinkler is the only name that is on the ballot as of now," Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Executive Director Joe Debney said.
"That doesn't preclude anyone from mounting a write-in campaign."
Hundley won a special election last month to serve for the remainder of Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell's vacated term. McConnell left the State Senate seat he has held since 1981 when Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned in the face of ethics violations.
Initially, Hundley had not planned to run for a full term. His decision to run came too late and he missed the filing deadline to run as the Republican candidate in the general election.
After the S.C. Supreme Court ordered hundreds of candidates be removed from ballots for improper filing, several Republican candidates in the District 41 race were removed from the ballot for both the special election, that Hundley won, and from the general election ballot in November.
Thurmond and the Charleston County Republican Party maintained that the ruling did not pertain to him, but former Charleston County Democratic Party Chair George Tempel challenged Thurmond in court, and was victorious. Tempel also filed an unsuccessful suit challenging Hundley's eligibility in the special election.
Thurmond initially filed a counter-suit challenging Tinkler's eligibility, but later withdrew the lawsuit.