A little over a month after winning a tenth term in office, veteran lawmaker Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has abruptly resigned from the S.C. House of Representatives – informing S.C. speaker of the House Jay Lucas of his intentions on Friday morning.
According to Clemmons’ letter, his decision to step down did “not come lightly, but only after significant reflection and prayer with my family.”
Clemmons defeated attorney Case Brittain during the Republican primary election on June 9, 2020 – less than forty days ago.
Which raises the question … why didn’t he simply decline to seek another term?
“I fully believed that I could effectively serve my constituents for one more term, but it has become increasingly clear in the last few weeks that my time needs to be spent with my family and at my law practice,” he wrote.
Per the letter, Clemmons’ resignation is effective at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 17, 2020.
With the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020, state election officials tell us there is no time for a special election to fill the unexpired portion of Clemmons’ current term. The S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.org) must determine if Clemmons resignation is for a “legitimate, nonpolitical reason.”
If such a determination is reached, an expedited special election would be held to choose new nominees for this seat.
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 last October.
In addition to his own campaign finance issues, Clemmons was among the beneficiaries of a controversial effort by the SCGOP to actively meddle in its own partisan primary elections – the first election cycle we can recall to feature such interference in an ostensibly neutral candidate selection process.
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