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GOP Candidate Sues DCDP for Malice

S.C. House District 97 GOP nominee Ed Carter has filed suit against the Dorchester County Democratic Party.

Less than a month after being reinstated as the GOP nominee for S.C. House District 97, Ed Carter has sued the plaintiffs of a lawsuit that temporarily decertified him.

Carter was reinstated for lack of evidence Aug. 6. He's running against incumbent Rep. Patsy Knight. The suit filed Wednesday afternoon claims the Dorchester County Democratic Party and its chair, Richard Hayes, acted with malicious prosecution.

The county Democratic Party's lawsuit, filed in June, claimed Carter and other GOP non-incumbent candidates did not file in accordance with S.C. election law. An almost universally-neglected requirement in campaign filing was ignored by hundreds of non-incumbents across the state, leading the S.C. Supreme Court to toss them from the ballot this spring.

There is currently an appeal in the Dorchester Democratic Party suit before the S.C. Supreme Court dealing with the S.C. Senate District 38. .

Carter and other candidates were not originally named in the lawsuit, but intervened to protect their interests.

Carter's suit is based on the ruling by the Circuit Court judge that there was no evidence against him to prove he had filed incorrectly. His attorneys allege this is proof of malice by the Democratic Party.

"The fact that the plaintiffs failed to offer any evidence to support the allegations in their complaint indicates that the plaintiffs acted with malice toward Mr. Carter in an attempt to thwart the voters' voice of a duly qualified candidate to challenge the incumbent Democrat in the November general election," a press release from his attorneys read. 

Democratic Party Chair Richard Hayes would not comment on the pending case. After Carter was reinstated by a judge earlier this month, Hayes responded:

"We welcome (Carter) back in the race. (Democratic incumbent) Rep. Patsy Knight has won three times by wide margins."

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