It’s been a rough time for South Carolina House judiciary chairman Chris Murphy – who has been afflicted with all sorts of health ailments in recent months – afflictions which have impacted the functioning of the influential committee he leads.
Of course, Murphy’s illness – said to be a serious case of diverticulitis – hasn’t stopped him from aggressively lobbying legislative colleagues on behalf of his wife Maite Murphy’s bid for a seat on the state supreme court.
These efforts which have rubbed many lawmakers the wrong way, and have prompted complaints to S.C. House speaker-in-waiting Murrell Smith.
Murphy, a lawyer-legislator, previously helped get his wife a seat on the circuit court. He also helped get his brother – Michael H. Murphy III – appointed as a magistrate for Dorchester County.
Illness also didn’t stop Murphy from filing paperwork on March 17, 2022 to seek a seventh term in office this fall. The 53-year-old North Charleston resident has competition, though.
In his bid to continue representing S.C. House District 98 in Dorchester County, Murphy must first defeat Greg Ford – an Air Force veteran – in a GOP primary election on June 14, 2022. Ford is coming at Murphy from the fiscal right, contrasting his opposition to tax hikes with Murphy’s support for a 2017 gas tax increase.
Assuming Murphy vanquishes Ford, he will face a Democrat in the November general election.
On March 30, 2022, the final day of the candidate filing period, 21-year-old Syndey Clinton of Dorchester County announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for this seat. Since no other Democrats filed, Clinton is unopposed in the partisan primary races in June – meaning she will await the winner of the GOP primary.
Clinton is formally launching her candidacy later this week in Summerville, S.C. – holding a meet-and-greet event at a local Kickin’ Chicken. That gathering will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. EDT this Thursday (April 21, 2022) for those of you interested in attending.
Can either Ford or Clinton knock off Murphy?
Anything is possible in the current electoral climate – and Murphy has clearly put himself in an untenable position via his advocacy on behalf of his family members (as well as his left-of-center fiscal votes). Given the GOP bent of this district, though, Murphy is unlikely to be defeated in a general election – meaning anyone looking to take him out (electorally speaking) would probably need to draw a bead on him during his upcoming primary race against Ford.
Stay tuned … this is one of the upcoming primary races this news outlet will be following closely in the weeks ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass player and a dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (but he gave them up for Lent this year).
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