Bill Sandifer has issued the following statement about the cancelling of Oconee County’s Republican primary scheduled for June 12.

“I am very disturbed that the S.C. Supreme Court has used a technicality to remove candidates from the ballot. The court basically has made the choice for the people of Oconee County and in doing so, has robbed them of a fair and open election. The people of South Carolina deserve the right to vote for the candidates of their choice. I intend to file legislation to prevent this from ever happening again and to make running for office as simple as possible.”

Yesterday afternoon, Oconee County Republican Party Chairman Eddie Adams announced that he was forced to decertify all non-incumbents on the primary ballot. The announcement was prompted by the State Supreme Court’s decision this week in a Florence County case dealing with the validity of non-incumbent candidates’ certification if they had not met the March 30 deadline for filing hard copies of statements of economic interest with the State Ethics Commission. The court’s decision applied only to the Florence County case, but the justices’ opinion cautioned other county party chairmen to ignore the ruling “at their peril.”

A total of 11 GOP candidates in Oconee County were removed from the ballot including Sandifer’s opponent for the District 2 House seat.