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#SCStateHouse: Six File For Vacant Lowcountry Seat

Five GOP candidates, one Democrat seek seat vacated by Jimmy Merrill …

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Six candidates have formally filed paperwork to run for South Carolina House District 99 (map) – the seat vacated last month by former “majority” leader Jimmy Merrill.

Merrill has turned state’s evidence in an ongoing, multi-jurisdictional investigation into public corruption in the Palmetto State.  News of his resignation is one of many stories related to that investigation that broke exclusively here on this website.

Four of the candidates running to replace Merrill are familiar to our readers, as we’ve been staying on top of this race for several weeks now.

As expected, Daniel Island businesswoman Nancy Mace, Mount Pleasant undertaker and town councilman Mark M. Smith and Daniel Island attorney Shawn Pinkston all entered the GOP primary for this seat.  Meanwhile, mental health counselor and liberal activist Cindy Boatwright entered the race as a Democrat.

There were two late entries on the GOP side, though – including one candidate who filed his paperwork with literally one minute to spare.  We reached out to that candidate – Bernie Bell of Daniel Island – but never heard back from him.

According to Bell’s filing document, though, his candidacy became official at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday (September 23) – precisely one minute before filing for this election’s partisan primaries closed.

The other surprise filer was Jarrod Brooks, a small businessman who also hails from Daniel Island.

Brooks did respond to our request for information about his candidacy, forwarding a copy of his campaign announcement.

“I want to show voters how I’ll work in Columbia by the way I manage my campaign – with compassion to others, listening to voters and experts, finding colleagues I can work with, and fully understanding issues,” Brooks said.

In the event Bell responds, we’ll be sure to let our readers know what he has to say about his candidacy.

This website is obviously very close to Mace, one of our former co-owners.  We know her, like her, respect her and believe she would make an outstanding legislator – which is why we’ll more than likely end up endorsing her bid.

Having said that, we do plan to give all of these candidates the opportunity to share their views with our readers over the next few weeks – to the extent they are willing to accept our invitation.

Stay tuned …

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