SC GOP leaders back chairman on ousting winner

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Republican Party officials are supporting their chairman's decision to disqualify a primary winner who couldn't produce his filing paperwork.

Their backing Tuesday night leaves Rep. B.R. Skelton on November's ballot for the Pickens County seat.

The incumbent lost to challenger Ed Harris by 73 votes in the June 12 primary. Skelton then challenged Harris' candidacy to the state GOP executive committee, saying he didn't properly file his forms. The committee rejected the complaint June 21.

But after Skelton appealed to the state Supreme Court, GOP Chairman Chad Connelly disqualified Harris as the party nominee, saying they couldn't go before the justices without the paperwork.

Harris threatened to sue.

Connelly said Wednesday the party's duty to uphold the rule of law is more important than anyone's political ambitions.

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