Rod Stalvey is taking his fight to run for Georgetown County auditor to the U.S. Department of Justice and county voters. The Georgetown resident was one of nearly 200 candidates across South Carolina that were kept off the ballot for next month’s primary because they didn’t properly file State Ethics Commission disclosure forms at the time they filed to run for office.
Stalvey blames Jim Jerow, chairman of the county Republican Party, for the filing mix up. Jerow did not have a computer with him when candidates were filing their Statement of Candidacy forms, and told them to go home and file their Statement of Economic Interest. By law candidates are required to file both forms at the same time with the same person.
Although Jerow said he told eight candidates the same thing, six are on the ballot. Stalvey and Tammie Avant, who wanted to run for Georgetown County clerk of court, were disqualified. Stalvey said he has not been able to get a satisfactory explanation from Jerow or Chad Connelly, chairman of the state Republican Party.
He has also not gotten a response to four e-mails and phone calls he’s made to state Attorney General Alan Wilson.
“They have been quiet as quiet can be,” Stalvey said.
One of the things that Stalvey is most upset about is that Brian Shult, who also filed with Jerow, is on the ballot running for auditor.
“They have their agenda and their agenda is to elect Republicans. Period,” Stalvey said. “To elect people high up in the party before those who are not.”
His next step was to file a complaint with the Justice Department. He received an e-mail response from Barbara Bowens, who told him the information had been forwarded to the Civil Rights Division, Voting Section.
“I’ve lost sleep over this,” Stalvey said. “This is a terrible injustice that’s happened here. “I think the Republicans have stolen this election.”
Although his fight to get on the primary ballot is likely over, Stalvey has decided to run as a petition candidate in November’s General Election.
In order to qualify, Stalvey must get signatures from 5 percent of Georgetown County’s active, registered voters.
The number of registered voters as of Thursday is 40,113, according to Donna Mahn, the county’s director of voter registration and elections, which means Stalvey would need 2,005 signatures. That number could change as more people register to vote. The official number won’t be known until July 9, Mahn said.
The deadline to submit the petition would normally be July 15, but that is a Sunday this year, so Stalvey will have until noon on July 16. Along with the petition, Stalvey will have to provide a copy of his Statement of Economic Interest form, and file a Statement of Intent form.
Once Stalvey submits his petition, Mahn will check each name to verify that the person is a registered voter, and check each signature against the person’s voting application.
Some of the things that disqualify people who signed the petition include: not the correct signature or no signature, duplicates, inactive voters, insufficient information to find the person’s application, not a registered voter, or not a resident.
Mahn recommends that people who sign petition write are legibly as possible and put as much information as possible. Stalvey said he was going to start collecting signatures right after the June 12 primary.
Democrats were hoping to also have a petition candidate run for auditor, but the person they were targeting declined, according to Nancy Kolman, chairman of the county party.
Mahn said the last petition candidate in the county was Carol Jayroe, who ran for Georgetown City Council.
By Chris Sokoloski
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