By Betsy Finklea
A protest was received on Thursday morning by the Dillon County Board of Elections in the Dillon County Council District Six Primary Election on Tuesday, June 14th from candidate Gerome “Gee” McLeod, the current councilman in the district
Chairman Michael Grice stated that the protest from McLeod and other protests received would be forwarded to the proper authorities. The Herald asked and was told that the “proper authorities” were the Dillon County Democratic Party. The Herald does not have a copy of the other protests received regarding the June 14th primary election at this time.
In the letter from Councilman McLeod, he stated that Coward lives at 304 South Marion Street in Latta, which is in Dillon County Council District Four.
He states that Coward is currently involved in a lawsuit regarding the Latta Mayor’s race in December 2021, where he lists 304 South Marion Street, Latta, as his legal address, and that during the Latta Election Commission hearing on the matter, he stated that he spends EVERY night with his wife and child at 608 East Jefferson Street in Dillon, which is located in Dillon County Council District Seven.
McLeod notes that Coward could have filed in the Dillon County Council District Seven race “in which he lives” or could have run for in the Dillon County Council District Five race. “Instead, he sought after a seat that would minimize minority representation,” said McLeod.
The letter states that Coward “is ineligible to vote in District Six; however, he somehow managed to secure the majority of the votes on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in a district he is not qualified to represent.’
The letter then takes up the matter of dual office holding stating that “according to Article VI, Section 3 of the S.C. Constitution, no person may hold two offices of honor or profit at the same time” and Article XVII, Section 1A, which states “Except where authorized by law, no mayor or councilman shall hold any other municipal office or municipal employment while serving.”
It also notes that Coward has changed his voter registration five times in the past seven years.
Grice said the candidates would be notified as to when a hearing will be set up on the matter.
By Betsy Finklea