Two years ago, Democratic State Rep. Anne Peterson Hutto defied odds by winning the District 115 State House seat by a few hundred votes in a terrible year for GOP voter turnout. In a year which is likely to see much higher Republican voter turnout, she can't afford to have her Democratic base split in a district which is usually goes for Republicans.
Which is exactly what seems to be happening.
Long-time James Island politico Eugene Platt, who has served on the James Island Public Service Commission since 1993 and was the Democratic nominee for the seat in 2006, is launching a petition candidacy to enter the fall House race.
According to several people we talked with, Platt has been walking the district for several weeks, visiting voter households to secure enough signatures to qualify for the fall ballot. Given the amount of time he's been walking, it seems likely that he'll earn a place on the ballot.
We talked with a Platt supporter, who told us that a number of Democrats in the district were supporting him:
Whatever you can say about him, the guy has long ties to the islands, experience in government. Republicans, Democrats and Independents like him. His sober, mature approach to getting things done is what we need.
When pressed for numbers, he wouldn't say, but given the district's usual Republican lean, Platt's candidacy could be what it takes to make the race really interesting - and spell defeat for Hutto.