COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - The South Carolina Election Commission has ordered a special primary election to find a Republican to run for former House Speaker Bobby Harrell's seat.
The commission decided unanimously Thursday to reopen GOP filing for the seat, moments after deciding Harrell's withdrawal statement was unnecessary. Filing for the new Republican primary will begin Tuesday and last for one week.
Commission Chairman Billy Way said Harrell's the withdrawal was unnecessary since his guilty plea disqualified him. Harrell pleaded guilty last week to using campaign money for his own benefit. Under the plea, Harrell cannot hold office for at least three years.
The race, with Harrell's name, remains on Tuesday's ballot, but the results will not count.
Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison immediately said he plans to file a lawsuit challenging the decision.