Politics abhors a vacuum and moves began immediately to fill the one left by the suspension of S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell last week.
Hampered with his nine indictments, Harrell’s political career is probably over. He is on the ballot in November and could be re-elected to his House seat while suspended and awaiting the legal process to go forward. But he cannot assume that seat again unless exonerated and the vote for a Speaker to lea the House in the next legislative session will be long past by then.
In the meantime, it appears Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas, the man filling the Speaker’s position until the organization meeting after the November general election, is in the lead to succeed Harrell as the next Speaker.
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“I have said all along that I have never intentionally violated any law, and I still strongly believe that statement to be accurate.
“In no way have I ever benefited personally or financially from travel reimbursements from my campaign account. In fact, I have regularly used the privately raised funds from my campaign account to pay for official state travel instead of passing that cost along to taxpayers. Similarly, I have often used my own airplane, at no cost to the taxpayers, for official state travel when it would have been completely justifiable to have used the taxpayer-funded state plane instead. If over the course of four years, I mistakenly wrote down the wrong date on a handful of items, that is something that can easily be addressed.”
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