A prominent attorney from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is signaling his interest in running against one of the longest-serving members of the S.C. General Assembly. Case Brittain – a member of the influential Brittain law firm – told us this week he is “strongly considering” running against veteran lawmaker Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach.
Brittain told us he was taking meetings over the coming two weeks in the hopes of reaching a decision by the end of the month.
If he runs, he would challenge Clemmons in the GOP primary election this spring.
Clemmons, 61, has represented S.C. House District 107 (map) since 2003. A fiscal liberal, he has spent much of his time lobbying on behalf of Israel – including a controversial budget provision criminalizing alleged anti-semitism that many believe is a violation of the First Amendment.
Clemmons has also found himself under scrutiny of late for botching a major civil asset forfeiture reform initiative … and for his repeated (and unsuccessful) attempts to gain employment from local governments serving his district.
Oh, he also drew attention for organizing an “Egyptian vacation” for multiple lawmakers back in October.
Despite his myriad issues, Clemmons will not be easy to beat. He has had years to dole out favors to politicos in his district (and beyond) – and at last count had an estimated $170,000 in his campaign account.
Clemmons can also raise big bucks to defend his seat …
Can Brittain compete with that sort of financial firepower?
“The Brittain family has substantial resources and Tommy Brittain is a a formidable fundraiser,” one coastal political operative told us.
That could make this one of the most competitive (and most expensive) S.C. House races in the 2020 election cycle.
Every single seat in the 170-member S.C. General Assembly is up for election in 2020. That includes all 46 S.C. Senate districts and all 124 seats in the S.C. House of Representatives. Unfortunately, as we have previously chronicled, legislative elections in South Carolina are notoriously non-competitive. In 2018, only five out of the 124 S.C. House races featured electoral outcomes in the single-digits. By contrast, 45 races featured elections that were decided by twenty percentage points or more, while 68 races featured candidates who faced no general election opposition at all.
That means the real battles will be fought in the primary elections …
Filing for legislative offices opens at 12:00 p.m. EST on March 16, 2020 and closes at the same time on March 30.
Partisan primary races will be held on June 9, 2020 – with runoffs held on June 23, 2020 (if necessary).
In South Carolina, if no candidate receives a majority of votes on the first ballot the top two candidates square off in a head-to-head matchup two weeks later.
The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
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