Thurmond Files Counterclaim Against Tinkler
No ruling has been issued yet in George Tempel's lawsuit against Paul Thurmond's eligibility to appear on today's ballot, but on Tuesday Thurmond's attorneys filed a countersuit against Democrat Paul Tinkler's eligibility in the same race.
Neither a Republican nor a Deomcratic candidate may end up on the November General Election ballot for the S.C. Senate District 41 race.
Charleston County Court of Common Pleas Judge Deardre Jefferson has not issued a ruling on whether Republican Paul Thurmond is eligible to remain on the ballot, but Thurmond filed a counterclaim Tuesday questioning Democrat Paul Tinkler's eligibility as well.
The crux of the suit brought by George Tempel is whether Thurmond as a part-time prosecutor for the City of North Charleston qualifies for the public official exemption under election law, and was therefore not required to file a paper copy of his Statement of Economic Interest form when he filed as a candidate with the Charleston County Republican Party. After telling attoneys in the case she would rule yesterday afternoon, Judge Jefferson has yet to issue a decision on the case.
Thurmond responded Tuesday with a suit of his own questioning Democrat Paul Tinkler's eligibility on similar grounds. In the suit Thurmond's attorney Michael Timbes alleges that the official with whom Tinkler filed his Statement of Intention of Candidacy and his Statement of Economic Interest forms did not forward the paper copy of the SEI form to Senate Ethics Committee within the timeframe specified in state law.
The filing includes an affadavit from Leonard Odom, Research Director for the S.C. Senate Ethics Committee, in which he states:
The Senate Ethics Committee did not receive a paper copy of any Senate candidate's SEI from any "official with whom the candidate files a declaration of candidacy or petition for nomination" for the South Carolina State Senate.