The Democratic Primary race in House District 41 may boil down to one issue, education. District 41 covers portions of Chester and Fairfield Counties. Young incumbent Boyd Brown is facing competition from two fellow Fairfield County residents Kenneth Belton and Kamau Marcharia.
In March, Representative Brown along with state Senator Creighton Coleman, who are both white, pushed a bill through the General Assembly to strip the majority black school board of its financial authority. Another measure allows the school board to be expanded from five to nine members with Brown and Coleman each appointing two persons to the board. Governor Sanford vetoed the bills because he said they violate state law empowering local government, however the House and Senate voted to override Sanford’s vetoes. District 41 challenger Kamau Marcharia is among a group of citizens that filed a lawsuit against the pending measures:
I filed a lawsuit along with five other individuals with the American Civil Liberties Union. I traveled to Washinton to meet with members of the U.S. Justice Department to present our case and our objection to the appointees to the (school) board and also the finance committee they want to appoint.
In mid-March, a Justice Department spokesman said it would take a pre-clearance to the legislation and that would take up to 60 days. Marcharia argues that the measures go against home rule and violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act.