Incumbent House member loses GOP primary appeal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State Republican Party leaders have denied an incumbent’s challenge against his winning primary opponent.

The GOP executive committee rejected Thursday an appeal brought by five-term state Rep. B.R. Skelton. The denial means Ed Harris remains on the ballot in November as the Republican nominee.

Harris won last Tuesday’s primary with 51.6 percent of the vote, with fewer than 2,220 votes cast.

Skelton contends Harris didn’t properly file paperwork to be a candidate. His lawyer, Rep. James Smith, says he believes the decision was based on politics and not the law. He intends to appeal the ruling.

Harris did not attend the hearing. His consultant says Harris won fair and square.

Dozens of legislative candidates were removed from the ballot after the Supreme Court’s ruling last month on improperly filed paperwork.

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