Local legal wrangling over the General Election ballot are not, as once hoped, dead. But the focus of the latest challenge is not concerned.
A motion urging circuit court judge Doyet “Jack” Early to reconsider his Sept. 19 opinion that found Deedee Vaughters to be a legitimate candidate for S.C. Senate Dist 26, was filed on Monday.
“This is an effort to hurt my fundraising... to stop me getting my message out,” Vaughters said. “But I’m not going to let it do that.”
Local voter Ronald Binns filed a lawsuit in early September challenging Vaughters’ candidacy as part of myriad legal challenges related to the filing of Statement of Economic Interests. He claimed that Vaughters’ SEI from her time as a S.C. Lottery Commissioner was not good enough to go with her senate run. Early disagreed and ruled in Vaughters’ favor. But now Binns’ attorney, Tucker Player of Aiken, believes Early did so erroneously.
Player argues that any SEI accepted for a new candidate must be “the one filed by the public official for the office currently held by that official,” he wrote, adding the emphasis and underline, quoting the related case involving Paul Thurmond in Charleston. “Therefore, Ms. Vaughters could not claim any exception... because she was not a public official.”
Vaughters confidently disagreed when reached for comment on Monday.
“I had to resign in order to file to run,” she said. “But that does not make my 2011 SEI any less valid. This is just another wrung along the way. I feel confident we will prevail.”
S.C. lottery commissioners cannot be affiliated with a political party, so, Vaughters had to give up her position before applying to be part of a party political primary.
She added that she had been in contact with her attorney, S.C. Sen. Shane Massey, and the S.C. Election Commission’s counsel, who both reassured her that the challenge would not be a significant issue.