You heard it here first!
Wallace Scarborough this afternoon withdrew his appeal of the decision of the State Election Commission, which awarded the House District 115 election to Anne Peterson Hutto. It took two months, but the November 4 election is finally over in Charleston County. Incumbent Repbulican Scarborough is officially out. Peterson Hutto is in.
Peterson Hutto received 211 more votes than Scarborough on November 4 and the election was certified by the Charleston County Board of Elections. Scarborough appealed to the State Election Commission, claiming massive vote fraud (see The Good Fight, December 24). The Election Commission unanimously turned him down after 15 minutes of deliberation. So Scarborough took the unprecedented step of appealing the Election Commission decision to his former collegues in the House, asking them to throw out the the November 4 election and call for a new vote. While all this was going on, the Election Commission decision was certified by the Secretary of State's Office and Peterson Hutto was sworn in to the House of Representatives
While his House appeal was moving forward, Scarborough's case was picked up by the Heritage Foundation and other rightwing stalking horses in their scurrilous claims of massive vote fraud where ever Republicans do not win elections. Hans von Sapovsky, a spokesman for Heritage and a legal engineer of the national "vote fraud" campaigns, had an op-ed column in January 10 Post and Courier, laying out the tortured logic of their case.
Scarborough's wthdrawal of his appeal came in the form of a letter from his attorney Butch Bowers to Peterson Hotto's attorney, Truett Nettles. There was no explanation for his withdrawl.
The withdrawal comes the the before his appeal was to to be heard by a subcommitte of the House Elections Committee and it comes a day after a story by Robert Behre ran in the P&C describing Scarborough's claims of vote fraud. The story outlined how Scarborough used drivers license addresses to accuse many District 115 voters -- including some of his own supporters -- of voting illegally. He used another list of voters who received their mail at addresses other than their residences to say that they had voted fraudulently. The list was generated by the US Postal Service Change of Address service and Wallace Scarborough's own name appeared on it.
Peterson Hutto immediately released a statement saying, "I am relieved that this process is finally over and that the decision of the voters of James Island and Folly Beach will stand. Now, I can concentrate on the job I was elected to do. I'd like to thank Wallace Scarborough for his many years of service and wish him well."