While he reportedly awaits a local appointment, former South Carolina state representative Alan Clemmons was tapped to serve as a board member for the S.C. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs (SCRFA) office – the agency tasked with issuing revenue projections for the state.
Clemmons was appointed to the post by S.C. ways and means chairman Murrell Smith. He joins board chairman Edward Grimball (appointed by governor Henry McMaster) and member Emerson Gower Jr. (appointed by Senate finance chairman Hugh Leatherman) on the panel.
As we reported last week, Clemmons is said to have reached an agreement with the Horry county legislative delegation to receive an appointment as master-in-equity for the coastal county beginning in 2021.
This position has been held since April 1, 2009 by Cynthia Graham Howe, who is reportedly ready to step down when her term ends in July 2021.
Clemmons, 61, abruptly resigned his seat in the S.C. House of Representatives earlier this month – barely forty days after winning the Republican nomination for a tenth term in office. Prior to his announcement, he had represented S.C. House District 107 (map) since 2003.
There is no time for a special election to fill the remainder of Clemmons’ current term, but an expedited special election will be held to replace him on the ballot for the legislative session beginning in 2021. Filing for that race will open at noon tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28, 2020) and will close a week later – at noon on August 4, 2020. Partisan primary elections will be held on August 18, 2020 – with runoffs (if necessary) slated for September 1, 2020.
The winners of these partisan races will appear on the November 3, 2020 ballot.
No Democrats filed for this seat during the traditional partisan primary period in March. On the Republican side, Clemmons defeated attorney Case Brittain in a fiercely contested primary fight. Brittain confirmed to this news outlet last week that he will be a candidate in the expedited special election.
It remains to be seen whether any other Republicans file – or whether local Democrats take advantage of what amounts to a second chance to field a candidate in this district.
It also remains to be seen which member of the S.C. General Assembly will be appointed to Clemmons’ seat on the influential S.C. ways and means committee – which gets first crack at drafting the state budget each year.
This news outlet was not a fan of Clemmons during his tenure in the legislature. A fiscal liberal, he spent much of his time lobbying on behalf of Israel – including a controversial budget provision criminalizing alleged anti-semitism that strikes us as a prima facie violation of the First Amendment.
Clemmons also botched a major civil asset forfeiture reform initiative … and landed in hot water over his involvement in a controversial “Egyptian vacation” for multiple lawmakers last October. More recently, Clemmons was accused of some serious campaign finance allegations – which he personally refuted in a letter to the editor of this news outlet.
While Clemmons selection for this post was viewed by some as cronyism, others pointed out that many of his legislative colleagues were eager to see him go …
“Would you rather have him making laws?” one legislative leader familiar with the appointment process told us. “We can get him to run for his old seat.”
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