SC superintendent of education strikes for qualification

This article has been updated with corrected information on qualifications and vote totals from the initial June 14 primary.

A primary runoff election for state superintendent of education set for next week includes a candidate from Greenville, Ellen Weaver, who must obtain her master’s degree to qualify for the position.

While an email from the communications director of the South Carolina Republican Party indicates the degree must be obtained by November’s general election, case law stipulates that the requirement is obtained for the degree obtained by the office of Inauguration in January, according to Attorney Kevin Hall.

Weaver is currently enrolled in an online curriculum that requires 33 credits for master’s degree completion, said Randy Page, director of public relations at Bob Jones University.

State law says the state superintendent of education must have a master’s degree.

“Ellen is fully qualified to run for Superintendent of Education and will be,” said Ryan Gillespie, campaign manager for Ellen Weaver. “Voters have a clear choice on June 28th – A conservative voice for parents, students and teachers.”

Weaver is a part of Bob Jones University’s Educational Leadership Program, Page said.

“It is possible for her to complete this before the election,” Page said. “There is not a maximum about the credits that can be taken.”

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Weaver was the second-most votes in the Republican state superintendent primary race with 79,077 votes and will face Kathy Maness, who won 103, 608 votes in the runoff election on June 28th.

According to an opinion from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, political party nominating candidates must first verify the qualifications of those candidates prioritizing and providing candidate names to the election commission so names can be placed on ballots. Once partisan candidates have been nominated through a primary election, their respective parties must be certify to be placed on ballots for general and special elections, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

The state Republican Party certified Weaver for the primary.

The State Election Commission does not have the authority to validate candidate qualifications, so the Commission would be responsible only if a nonpartisan candidate were to violate the rules, said Chris Whitmire, spokesman with the state Election Commission.

“Our responsibility is to count and certify the vote totals and report the winner to the Secretary of State’s office,” Whitmire said.

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– Caitlin Herrington, local reporter and alliteration of lover, covers government and growth in the Golden Strip. Get in touch with her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @GVLnewsCatGeneral Chat Chat Lounge

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