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July 27, 2014

Murphy seeks to reclaim school board post

Former Lexington-Richland 5 school board member Kim Murphy plans to ask voters to return her to the post she was ousted from last year for alleged nonresidency.

Former Lexington-Richland 5 school board member Kim Murphy plans to ask voters to return her to the post she was ousted from last year for alleged nonresidency.

Murphy is ready to seek election again as a Richland County member on the board despite contentions she lives in Lexington County.

“She definitely plans to do that,” Murphy lawyer Ashley Storey said. “She’s still in Richland County as far as we’re concerned.”

Murphy is among candidates planning to seek 23 posts on seven Midlands school boards at the Nov. 4 election. Filing for those posts starts Friday and concludes Aug. 15.

Lexington-Richland 5 board members and officials referred questions about Murphy’s intent to reclaim the post to district lawyer John Reagle, who declined comment.

The post Murphy held has remained vacant pending the outcome of a legal challenge she made to her removal by the board’s other six members in March 2013.

Her ouster came after state geographers who were asked to looked into the situation concluded her home in the Chapin area is just inside Lexington County, not Richland County as long thought and as required for the post to which she was elected in 2010.

Her supporters say she is the victim of a misunderstanding by county officials on the location of borders.

Murphy said she and her family continue to vote in Richland County despite the board’s decision.

A tea party favorite, she crusades against what she considers overspending and mismanagement of classrooms with 16,000 students in Chapin, Irmo, Dutch Fork, Harbison and St. Andrews that are among the best in South Carolina.

Those efforts put her at odds with other board members, who deny her ouster was a political vendetta as claimed by conservative groups.

The challenge to the location of her home abutting county borders came after political foes raised questions following her unsuccessful battle that stalled renovation of Chapin High for 18 months.

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