The ongoing race to fill the vacant House District 68 is a rather unusual contest in that there will be two near-simultaneous elections for the seat: a special election to file the remainder of the term and a regular election contest. This means whoever wins the special election won’t be seated until after the General Assembly adjourns for the year.
If they don’t seek a full term or lose the regular electoral contest (the primaries which are expected to decide the contests will be held a week apart), it’s possible the special election victor could be a legislator without ever having to go to Columbia.
But even in that after, the winner of the special election will draw a small paycheck for their time in office - unless the winner is long-time Grand Strand GOP activist Heather Crawford.
Crawford pledged to not accept the legislative paycheck for the remainder of the session:
Heather Ammons Crawford, local conservative candidate for South Carolina House District 68 announced today that if elected she would refuse any pay associated with the remainder of the vacated seat’s term. A special election is currently scheduled to be held on June 5th to fill the open seat through the end of the year. According to the Horry County Election Commission, Horry County taxpayers will foot the bill for at least $15,000.00 for a special election to fill the few months remaining in Thad Viers' term of office in the Socastee House Seat due to his resignation. The winner of the special election won’t cast a single vote or perform any legislative duties - given the General Assembly’s 2012 session will have ended prior to this special election. The only anticipated official act a person elected in this capacity would perform during this particular period of several months is to cash a monthly State check for $1,000.00!
It’s a small sum of money when compared to the billions of dollars legislators play with annually, but it’s still the right thing to do. Hopefully being conservative with small sums of money will lead to being at least as responsible with larger sums of money.
The other candidates in the race would be wise to join Crawford in taking the no-pay pledge.