Katrina Shealy went on the attack quickly after taking the first step Wednesday to revive her challenge to veteran Republican state Sen. Jake Knotts of Lexington County.
“Knotts has failed us, and we need to replace him,” Shealy said.
Shealy rapped Knotts for fines that he had to pay for inaccurate campaign disclosures and his use of an ethnic slur toward Gov. Nikki Haley.
“That is not the behavior of a successful senator,” Shealy said. “That is not the behavior we want our children or grandchildren to learn.”
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Knotts could not be reached for comment.
Shealy turned in petitions that she said had 3,223 signatures from registered voters in an effort to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot as a petition candidate.
It takes 2,662 signatures of voters in state Senate District 23 to qualify as a petition candidate. The district stretches across southern Lexington County, from the west edge of Cayce to the outskirts of Batesburg-Leesville.
State election officials hope to let Shealy know in a week if she submitted enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
Shealy is taking a second shot at unseating Knotts after losing in the June 2008 GOP primary. No Democrat is seeking the seat.
Shealy was one of about 250 candidates statewide who were removed from the June 12 primary ballot by court order for failing to report their personal finances properly. The legal challenge that forced the candidates’ removal was filed by group that included a Knotts campaign worker.
“Knotts has tried to use every tactic in the book to avoid facing me on the ballot,” Shealy said. “But I am coming.”
Shealy sidestepped questions about whether she expected help against Knotts from Gov. Haley, a Lexington Republican who long has feuded with Knotts.
Shealy has raised nearly $27,000 so far, a tenth of the $258,000 taken in by Knotts, according to recent disclosure reports.
Meanwhile, a third would-be Lexington County Council candidate turned in petition signatures seeking to become eligible for the November ballot.
Restaurant operator Anthony Keisler submitted petitions with 1,344 signatures – about 400 more than needed – in hopes of qualifying for the race in District 3 in the town of Lexington and nearby areas.