Hutchinson withdraws challenge

November 29, 2012 

Julie-Ann Dixon(winner) , Val Hutchinson

ichland County Councilwoman Val Hutchinson has withdrawn her election protest as the county’s elections board is about to take up the remaining challenges Monday.

Hutchinson could not be reached Wednesday. But Steve Hamm, the attorney hired by Richland County’s Board of Elections and Voter Registration, said the protest was dropped at Hutchinson’s request.

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, the board will take up the penny sales tax challenge filed by defeated County Council candidate Michael Letts, Hamm said.

Letts’ protest replaces one filed two days after the bungled Nov. 6 election by attorney Rick Reames III, Hamm said. Reames withdrew his protest Wednesday afternoon.

The disputed one-cent increase in the sales tax was approved by a margin of about 6,600 votes.

The board also will hear Letts’ protest of his race against incumbent Councilman Jim Manning, Hamm said.

The third protest is from Celestine Parker, who is challenging the resounding victory by Councilman-elect Torrey Rush.

Any decision by the elections board may be appealed to circuit court.

Clif LeBlanc

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