COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Election Commission is considering whether to order a special election for former House Speaker Bobby Harrell's old seat.
The Charleston Republican resigned last week after pleading guilty to using campaign money for his own benefit.
In an affidavit Tuesday he said he resigned for "legitimate nonpolitical grounds." Under state law, if a candidate withdraws for such reasons, a special election must be held.
But Mary Tinkler, the Democrat seeking the District 114 seat, says Harrell's resignation had everything to do with politics.
If the commission agrees, then next week's election goes ahead without another Republican on the ballot. That means Tinkler would be the likely winner giving the Democrats the seat for the first time in almost 40 years.
The commission considers the matter Thursday in Columbia.
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