Columbia SC Council Race Taking Shape

Politically connected educator challenges scandal-scarred incumbent …

Before the 2020 presidential circus comes to town – and before we dive into the drama associated with legislative elections in South Carolina (every seat in the S.C. General Assembly is on the ballot next year) – 2019 provides us with a foretaste of the fighting via multiple municipal elections.

In Columbia, S.C., one especially competitive municipal race is shaping up for the seat currently held by incumbent city councilman Moe Baddourah.

Baddourah, 56, was suspended from office by governor Henry McMaster in the aftermath of a criminal domestic violence incident that took place in June of 2016.  According to police reports Baddourah allegedly shoved his then-wife, Carrie Rhett, into a car and slammed the door on her during an argument in the parking lot of Rockaway Athletic Club in downtown Columbia.

The argument took place in front of the couple’s two young children.

Baddourah – who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Columbia in 2013 – was suspended from office between March of 2017 and October of last year in connection with the incident.  He was eventually reinstated by McMaster after being accepted into a pre-trial intervention program in connection with the charge against him.

Challenging Baddourah in 2019?  John Loveday, a politically connected educator who has lived in Columbia for twenty years.

“As a public school educator and a parent, I’m focused on our future and building a city that works for everyone,” Loveday said in a release announcing his candidacy earlier this month.”As a city, we need big ideas and bold leadership to modernize our infrastructure, expand job opportunities, and keep our city safe for everyone, especially our children.”


Loveday’s announcement did not shy away from addressing Baddourah’s lengthy hiatus from office.

“After our district was left without representation for nearly two years, we deserve integrity and responsibility in office,” he said.

Loveday, 34, is married to Amanda Loveday – one of the Palmetto State’s top Democratic strategists and a recent appointee to the S.C. Election Commission (  His candidacy has already drawn early support from top Columbia, S.C. Democrats – including newly elected state senator Dick Harpootlian.

Stay tuned … this is one of several municipal races we will be following closely this year.



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