SC Politics

Watch: Candidate Accused Of Stealing Rival’s Campaign Mailing

Video’s release comes amid hotly contested run-off election

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The South Carolina Republican renegades who operate under the MySCGOP.com banner never fail to keep Palmetto politics interesting. This week, the group released footage of Upstate dentist – and defeated S.C. Senate District 6 candidate – Dan Nickles caught in the act of alleged theft of campaign materials. The footage depicts Nickels appearing to steal a piece of campaign literature from a constituent’s home while door-knocking.

Nickles billed himself as a conservative outsider willing to take on lawyer-legislators in the S.C. General Assembly.

(Click to View)

(FITSTube)

“Lawyers become senators and vote for laws that benefit them, such as lawsuits against our venues and bars.” Nickles’ campaign website read.

“Vote Nickles for change” he implored.

Vote Dr. Dan Nickles Senate 6
(Via: Nickles for senate)

While Nickles’ site didn’t go after his opponent by name, it’s clear the former candidate was contrasting himself with his former opponent, state representative Jason Elliott, an attorney and member of the S.C. House judiciary committee.

It appears Nickles didn’t leave the attacks on Elliott to just words, as Ring doorbell video released this week by Greenville County Republican party chairman Jeff Davis shows Nickles rooting around in a constituent’s mail or newspaper box (it isn’t clear which) before removing, crumpling and pocketing a piece of Elliott’s campaign literature.

“The voter whose mail was stolen initially wanted us to keep the video private, but also wanted Dr. Nickles to STOP stealing people’s mail … and we respected his wishes,” Davis’ website claimed.

Davis said the voter changed their tune and consented to the release of the video following a strange endorsement.

“After (#1) Dr. Nickles was contacted about the matter and refused to respond, and (#2) Dr. Nickles ‘endorsed’ the establishment candidate / lawyer-legislator that on the video Nickles said we do not need in the SC Senate … the voter agreed to release the video,” Davis said.

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It is possible the voter was confused as to why Nickles didn’t lend his support to Ben Carper, the other “outsider” candidate – who successfully courted more of the vote than Nickles and has since moved on to a run-off election with Elliot.

In South Carolina, if no candidate receives a majority of votes in a partisan primary election the top two candidates face off in a head-to-head runoff two weeks later. This year’s runoff elections are scheduled for next Tuesday (June 25, 2024).

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June, 11, 2024 Primary Election Results (Via: SCVotes)

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Carper’s site directly attacked Elliott, alleging he isn’t a true conservative.

“Thirty-one out of 36 S.C. House Democrats had an equal or higher score than Republican Jason Elliott during the
2023-2024 Session according to The Freedom Index,” Carper’s site alleged.

Carper, a former teacher, bills himself as a “true conservative constitutionalist.”

It isn’t clear why Nickles endorsed Elliott over Carper. Neither Elliott or Nickles responded to attempts by this media outlet to get their perspective on the story.

S.C. Senator Josh Kimbrell, who endorsed Nickles and Elliott, questioned Davis’ motives for releasing the video.

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“I have questions about how this all came about” Kimbrell told FITSNews.

Kimbrell noted the attack came days after Elliott accused Carper of voting “using a South Carolina Driver’s License which lists an address where Mr. Carper does not, and has never, lived.”

“When you got this 800-pound gorilla in the room of Carpers’ residency issues … it’s very interesting timing,” Kimbrell said.

Video released amid neck amid contentious run-off campaign.
Ben Carper (Via Drbencarper.com)

Carper referred FITSNews to the statement he gave The (Charleston, S.C. Post and Courier, telling the paper he “followed the letter of the law,” and emphasized that S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) spokeswoman Renée Wunderlich confirmed there was no active investigation.

Carper saw the residency issue not as an “800-pound gorilla,” but as a distraction from his constitutionalist platform, which he believes appeals to conservative Upstate Republican partisan primary voters.

“I’m not interested in the government doing anything that’s outside the letter of the Constitution, and I’m not in favor of anything that goes beyond or outside the restrictions that the Constitution places on government” Carper added that if elected he intends to “expose the swamp” in Columbia.

As runoff voters prepare to go to the polls in what is expected to be another low-turnout election, stay tuned to FITSNews for the latest Palmetto political news …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.

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