Lawsuit over SC redistricting dismissed - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Hembree responds to dismissal of SC redistricting lawsuit

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From the Horry County Solicitor's Office:

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – A lawsuit filed by State Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian and State Senator Dick Elliott (Democrat District 28) challenging the State Senate's redistricting map was thrown out by Federal District Court Judge Patrick Michael Duffy on February 21, 2012.

The redistricting plan, which is required by law after every ten year census, had received near unanimous bi-partisan support in the General Assembly, had been signed by the Governor, and had been approved by the US Department of Justice before being challenged in court by Harpootlian and Elliott.

The court's ruling means that the new plan is the law of the land and that Senate elections will go forward as scheduled. Filing for the seat closes March 30th and the primary election will be June 12th.

Due to the significant population growth in Horry County the newly drawn Senate District 28 no longer includes any of Marlboro or Marion Counties, and portions of Dillon County have been moved into another district.

Current 15th Circuit Solicitor and Republican candidate for Senate District 28 praised the court's ruling. "The newly drawn district is more compact and makes better sense for the citizens. It is a much more conservative district than the old District 28. The court's ruling is no surprise."

Commenting on the lawsuit Hembree stated, "It's a shame for career politicians like Elliott and Harpootlian to file lawsuits that are solely intended to protect their political power. They are expensive for the taxpayers to defend and take up valuable court time that could be used to settle real disputes."

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