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“Republican” S.C. Rep. Andy Patrick touted his “family values” when he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress in 2013 – going so far as to use those very words beneath an image of his family frolicking on the beach. ┬áMore recently Patrick’s kickoff announcement for the 2014 S.C. Superintendent of Education race was headlined by picture of him and four of his five children.

“He drags his kids everywhere,” one Lowcountry GOP operative told FITS.

(Here’s the “family values” shot … and here’s Patrick’s 2014 campaign announcement).

Obviously a politician using his children as political props is to be expected – seeing as no South Carolina politician has ever lost votes by portraying themselves to the public as a devoted parent.

But like his “Republican” label, Patrick’s “family values” label requires further scrutiny … particularly as it relates to the ongoing legal drama surrounding this ethically challenged lawmaker.

As FITS reported earlier this week Patrick has several upcoming court dates – including a January 27 hearing in his divorce case, which has been mysteriously sealed by a Lowcountry judge. ┬áHe’s also being sued by his father-in-law Michael Stefonick, who claims Patrick stole $170,000 from him.

Stefonick is also threatening to campaign against his son-in-law.

This week, FITS has learned that Patrick’s attorney – Upstate Rep. Doug Brannon (RINO-Spartanburg) – is attempting to postpone his client’s divorce hearing in light of all the coverage it has received.

No big deal, right?

Right … unless you’re Andy Patrick’s children.

According to an email obtained by FITS, attorney Lauren Martel of Hilton Head Island, S.C. – who represents Patrick’s estranged wife – argued that a delay in the case would additional financial suffering for Andy Patrick’s campaign props … err, children.

Specifically, Martel’s email reveals Patrick’s children have been receiving a veritable smorgasbord of government benefits in the wake of their parents’ separation.

“The children in this matter have not had any Court Ordered Child support,” Martel writes. “Presently all four children are on EBT, SNAP and food stamps and Medicaid that Amee Patrick was forced to apply for due to the nominal to no support for the children. At this point she may be forced to file for welfare herself. Her housing for herself and the children is being paid for my her father. If this matter is further continued, the children continue to suffer financially.”

Ouch …

And this guy is running for statewide office?

Andy Patrick has no business continuing on as a candidate for S.C. Superintendent of Education. In fact he has no business serving another day as a State Representative for Beaufort County (something we’ve known for some time).

“Family values” dictates he resign his office immediately and attend to the needs of his children, not use them as props to advance a political career that is clearly on the verge of a spectacular implosion.