An attorney is abandoning his effort to reinstate nearly 200 candidates left off of June 12 primary ballots by a South Carolina Supreme Court decision, saying Friday he is focusing instead solely on allegations the state violated the Voting Rights Act in sending separate ballots overseas for federal and local races. “The court has ordered Amanda Somers to focus on the issues where she has clear standing. And that we will do,” Todd Kincannon told The Associated Press. “Amanda Somers is focused entirely on military absentee ballots from here on. It’s clear at this point the military absent ballot issue is about the only issue left in this election.” Kincannon filed a federal last suit last week on Somers’ behalf, saying the state Senate hopeful’s candidacy was thrown into question after state Supreme Court justices ruled that financial and candidate-intent paperwork must be filed simultaneously.
That decision led the state Democrat and Republican parties to cull their candidate lists, eliminating nearly 200 names of candidates who hadn’t adhered to the rule. Somers was ultimately allowed on the ballot, causing a federal judge considering her case to question her ability to sue – and leading to Kincannon’s decision to drop that part of his case. “Unless somebody else picks up that torch and runs with it, that’s it,” Kincannon said, of the effort to reinstate the dropped candidates.
There had been another candidate who could have pursued those claims. During a hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie allowed a state Senate candidate from Edgefield who was tossed off, Republican John Pettigrew, to join the suit. But on Friday, Pettigrew’s attorney said his client planned to withdraw from the case. “It’s become more than the type of suit that would give him the relief that he’s looking for,” Kerk Spong told AP. “He’s looking at other options.”