Outgoing South Carolina superintendent of education Molly Spearman – a “former” Democrat – is on the receiving end of an ethics complaint related to her recent endorsement of Lexington, S.C. town councilwoman Kathy Maness.
According to the complaint (.pdf), Spearman violated S.C. Code of Laws § 8-13-1346 – which holds that a person “may not use or authorize the use of public funds, property or time to influence the outcome of an election.”
Specifically, Spearman publicly endorsed Maness at the S.C. Department of Education (SCDE) – “clearly using public office and state property to influence the outcome of an election,” per the complaint.
During the endorsement, Maness “was allowed to display campaign materials during the event, including at the podium where the endorsement was made,” the complaint continued.
“This was a concerted effort to use state property to influence the Republican primary on June 14,” the complaint concluded. “Had the event occurred elsewhere, this would not have been an issue.”
The complaint – filed by Aaron Granade of Lexington, S.C. – cited a story in The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier which included photographs of Spearman endorsing Maness in front of a SCDE government banner.
Just like they did in the old Soviet Union, people …
The Post and Courier story – filed by reporter Seanna Adcox – made no mention of the impropriety of Spearman using state resources to endorse a political candidate. Seriously: Her paper ran a photo documenting a demonstrably illegal endorsement and she didn’t even notice it … or deliberately ignored it.
Spearman is not seeking another term in 2022, however the former educrat lobbyist is hoping to install another left-leaning “Republican” in this office.
Maness finished first in a six-person “Republican” primary race on Tuesday evening – drawing 102,444 votes (or 30.66 percent of all ballots cast). Ellen Weaver – the presumed frontrunner in the race – finished second with 77,640 votes (23.24 percent).
Because no candidate captured a majority of votes, Maness and Weaver advanced to a head-to-head runoff election on June 28, 2022.
On the Democratic side, über-liberal SC for Ed leader Lisa Ellis appears to have won the Democratic nomination for state superintendent – drawing 86,894 votes (or 50.11 percent of the ballots cast) according to the latest data from the S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.gov).
If that total holds, Ellis would face the winner of the Maness-Weaver GOP runoff in the November election.
Should Ellis fall below the fifty percent threshold in a recount, she would face Democrat Gary Burgess in a runoff election on June 28, 2022.
THE COMPLAINT …
(Via: S.C. State Ethics Commission)
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. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Buffalo Bisons’ lid pictured above).
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