Bobby Harrell officially withdraws from House race

Bobby Harrell officially withdraws from House race

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Just under a week after he pleaded guilty to mishandling campaign funds, former House Speaker Bobby Harrell has formally withdrawn from his re-election campaign in House District 114, according to the State Election Commission.

State Election officials say they received word from the Harrell campaign in a letter that he had withdrawn from the race on Oct. 23.

"Pursuant with the court agreement, I am informing you that I am withdrawing from the 2014 election and resigning my office in the South Carolina House of Representatives at 5:00 pm today," the signed letter said.

However, Harrell's name will still appear on the ballot, election officials say, even though he is not eligible to win the race. Instead, voters in District 114 will be informed that Harrell is ineligible at the ballot box.

Harrell was set to face Mary Tinkler.

South Carolina Democrats quickly pounced on the news, praising the Election Commission for not "forcing a costly, unnecessary special election."

"This race is not between Democrat Mary Tinkler and the Green Party candidate since any votes for Bobby Harrell will not count," the statement from Rep. Todd Rutherford said. "Mary Tinkler will bring honesty and integrity back to House District 114 and the voters there will be very lucky to have her as their representative."

South Carolina Republicans, meanwhile, say they will have not received the proper paperwork from Harrell that would allow a new election to be scheduled.

"We're disappointed for voters," a statement said. "They deserve a change to make their voices heard."

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