Election commission says ex-TV anchor likely ineligible for Senate run

abeam@thestate.com February 9, 2012 

Lexington County election officials say the recent redrawing of state Senate districts means former WIS anchor Kara Gormley Meador likely can not run for the District 23 seat held by incumbent Jake Knotts.

Those new lines place Meador’s residence in Senate District 18, represented by Ronnie Cromer, R-Newberry. That race is already crowded, with former Lexington County Republican party chairman Rich Bolen saying he will challenge Cromer.

Thursday was a whirlwind day for Meador, who said in the morning she would run against Knotts, only to find out in the afternoon she probably will not be eligible to do so. The state Senate redistricting plan that draws new district lines has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, but it is being challenged in court by Democrats. If the new lines are approved, Meador would be outside the district and could not run.

Filing for state Senate seats does not open until March.

Meador said Thursday she had not decided if she would run against Cromer. She called Bolen a “good Christian conservative guy,” adding District 18 already has some good candidates to choose from.

“I’d have to think about it,” she said. “My major impetus was feeling I could make a huge difference in (District) 23.”

Knotts, a retired police officer and former House member, was elected to the state Senate in 2002, succeeding longtime state Sen. Joe Wilson, who was elected to Congress in a special election.

In 2008, Knotts beat back a hotly contested Republican Primary challenge by Katrina Shealy, who has said she plans to ran again against Knotts. Knotts also has feuded with fellow Lexington County Republican Nikki Haley, the former state representative who was elected governor in 2010.

Thursday, Knotts said only that he looked forward running again.

Reach Beam at (803) 386-7038.

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