State officials have dropped their efforts to get a new election for the House seat formerly held by House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
Harrell’s resignation from the House District 114 race only two weeks before the election left Charleston County Republicans without enough time to nominate a replacement. That ended up benefitting his Democratic challenger Mary Tinkler, who won the race in the heavily conservative district covering the Charleston suburbs.
Initially, the state Election Commission voted to delay the election to give Republicans enough time to find a new candidate. However, the state Supreme Court overrode them and allowed voters to cast their ballots on Election Day while the case was handled in the courts. The GOP eventually dropped out of the case, saying it was an issue to be handled by the Election Commission.
But the state Attorney General’s Office did not agree. A hearing on the dispute about the election had been scheduled next week, but the Charleston Post and Courier reports the AG’s Office filed a motion Tuesday to settle the dispute. A spokesman argued that there were no longer any parties challenging the election results, making the ongoing legal case moot.
Tinkler is a Charleston real estate agent. She will next have to run for re-election with all other House members in 2016.
Charleston County GOP chair John Steinberger told the newspaper he is optimistic his party can retake the heavily-conservative district in the next election cycle.