Not In The District? No Problem. Candidates Campaign Without Moving - WSPA.com

Not In The District? No Problem. Candidates Campaign Without Moving

Posted:
By Gordon Dill

In Williamston, they’re about to have a special election to fill an open seat on town council.  One of the two candidates doesn’t live in the district he’s campaigning to represent, but that’s well within the law.  In fact, in some cases the law is so relaxed a candidate never has to live anywhere near the district that elects him.

  

Robert Vaughn called 7 On Your Side to ask about the race for town council. He lives two doors down from the home where one of the candidates will eventually live.

“Nobody lives there. The house is owned by somebody but nobody lives in the house," Vaughn said.

 

The owner of that house is a former town councilman, and current candidate, named Mike Looper.  Looper lost a runoff election in late November for Ward 4 by just 5 votes.  Looper still lives in Ward 4.

 

Now, Looper is campaigning in a special election for an open seat in Ward 2.  That seat was left vacant when the previous councilman was elected mayor in November. Looper has never lived in Ward 2, but he does own that house near Robert Vaughn.

 

“How does he really know what’s going on in this neighborhood if he doesn't live here?" Vaughn asked.

 

Looper is doing nothing wrong.  The law says he’s an eligible candidate as long as he moves into the district he plans to represent at least 24 hours before election day.  He’s already in the process of moving.

 

Even his opponent in the upcoming race said the residency is not an issue.

 

“That's not up for me to decide whether or not that's fair.  That's really up to the voter," said Rocky Burgess.

 

The 24 hour timeframe isn’t unusual in South Carolina.  In fact, under state law most county council and school board elections have the same requirement.


Other races, like US Congress are even more relaxed.  To run for the US House, you need to live in the state you plan to represent but not the district.  A person could live in the Upstate but be a legal candidate for US Congress in Charleston.

 

As for Looper, “As councilmen we represent the whole town a lot of people don't understand that this is a town wide vote and we represent the whole town not just our ward and people need to realize that," Looper said.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:27 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:27:21 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The governor indicated she would suspend Eichor once she got indictments against him.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The governor indicated she would suspend Eichor once she got indictments against him.
  • Gaffney Woman Dies From Vehicle Crash Injuries

    Gaffney Woman Dies From Vehicle Crash Injuries

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:15:32 GMT
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died.The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died.
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died. Coroner Dennis Fowler says Rachel Lail Smith died Tuesday night at 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
    The Cherokee County Coroner says a 73-year-old Gaffney woman injured in a car accident last week has died. Coroner Dennis Fowler says Rachel Lail Smith died Tuesday night at 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
  • Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor Arrested, Accused Of Threatening Judge

    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor Arrested, Accused Of Threatening Judge

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:11:50 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.