Somebody once told us that “restraining orders are just another way of saying ‘I love you …’”
Or maybe we saw it on a T-shirt.
Either way, the term clearly applies to S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom and former State Superintendent candidate Kelly Payne – whose on-again/ off-again relationship is apparently “on again.”
FITS first broke the news of Eckstrom and Payne’s relationship last February (complete with private texts and emails). At that point, both were candidates for statewide office. Both acknowledged the relationship, but indicated that it was over.
Payne went on to finish third in the GOP primary for State Superintendent of Education, while Eckstrom easily won reelection as the state’s Comptroller General.
Ten months after our story broke, we learned that Payne and Eckstrom were back together, although within weeks of reuniting they became embroiled in yet another public soap opera – this one ending with Payne filing a police report against Eckstrom.
“(Eckstrom) showed up on my property tonight and now he’s stalking me,” Payne said during a frantic 911-sounding call to FITS on November 2. “I called the police. They’re on the way to my house.”
“His car was in my neighborhood, circling my house,” Payne added. “He’s coming after me.”
In Payne’s police report – filed on that same day – she indicated that she was “afraid (Eckstrom) may kill her.”
Not anymore, apparently. Last month, Payne invited Eckstrom to speak to her current issues class at Dutch Fork High School. And on Thursday, she posted a recap of his appearance (along with a YouTube link) on a local political blog.
Not only that, sources tell FITS that Payne was seen dancing with Eckstrom at S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s big inaugural ball Wednesday night. In fact, the pair may have even been captured on camera by C. Aluka Berry of The State newspaper.
Payne is divorced. Eckstrom is separated from his wife.
UPDATE: Payne confirms she and Eckstrom shared a dance at Haley’s inaugural ball.
UPDATE II: Get this. Not only did Payne and Eckstrom dance together, but Payne was Eckstrom’s date. In fact Payne was announced as Eckstrom’s date over the loudspeakers at the event.