A pair of Charleston county, South Carolina Republican party officials resigned their offices earlier this month, one of them explicitly questioning the “leadership” of county party chairman John Kuhn.
Surprised? Don’t be …
When Kuhn took office, we referred to him as a “curious selection” for this post – and advised our readers to “get ready for some drama.”
It appears as though Kuhn has not disappointed …
The first resignation took place on October 14 when the party’s second vice chair Nikki Clairbourn stepped down. According to our sources, Clairbourn’s decision was officially attributed to her impending relocation – however one of our sources called this “more of an expediter than the sole reason.”
That reason? Kuhn …
On October 24, the party’s third vice chairman Pete Barnett submitted his resignation – criticizing Kuhn in no uncertain terms on multiple fronts.
Specifically, Barnett cited “my own disagreements with the chairman in terms of his work ethic, level of respect, engagement with the party, and ability to carry out campaign promises.”
Barnett went on to cite “extremely low fundraising by the chairman,” “haphazard event planning” and “meetings that have quickly become ineffective.”
Take a look …
(Click to view)
Kuhn represented S.C. Senate District 43 (map) from 2001-2003. In 2013, he ran unsuccessfully for the Palmetto State’s first congressional district – receiving 6.5 percent of the vote in a 16-candidate field.
He defeated Lowcountry GOP activist Joe Bowers to become the county party chairman in April.
The quirky, irascible attorney has long drawn scrutiny for his uneven temperament, including multiple road rage incidents and a 2009 situation in Atlanta in which he was temporarily removed from a domestic flight for refusing to turn off a portable electronic device.
We raised these temperament issues during Kuhn’s candidacy for his current seat, but Charleston Republicans chose him anyway …
(Click to view)
Do we care that they did? No …
Republicans should care, however. With incumbent Democratic congressman Joe Cunningham receiving unexpected support from GOP politicians and conservative groups, Republicans’ margin for error in the area’s signature race – the upcoming first congressional district election – is nonexistent.
In addition to Cunningham’s 2018 upset, Republican governor Henry McMaster was thrashed in Charleston County by Democrat James Smith in the 2018 South Carolina gubernatorial race – losing by a 57-42 percent margin.
Also, former state representative Samuel Rivers – who was the only black Republican in the S.C. General Assembly – lost his bid for reelection in 2018. Several other GOP members of the S.C. House of Representatives in Charleston county nearly lost their seats, too.
Bottom line? If the allegations against Kuhn are accurate, the GOP is in worse trouble in the first district than we thought …
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)