Gunn can stay on ballot as Berkeley District 3 candidate
Ken Gunn saved his candidacy by using Google but had it threatened because of Facebook.
Confused? The story of the would-be Berkeley County councilman differs little from that of many other South Carolina candidates caught up in questions about whether they filed correct ethics forms.
Gunnís just has a 21st century media twist.
Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson ruled Friday that Gunn may remain on the Nov. 6 ballot as the District 3 County Council candidate. He has no opposition.
Current District 3 Councilman Bob Call, who Gunn defeated in the June 12 primary, filed a recent lawsuit challenging Gunnís eligibility.
The basis for Callís challenge appeared to be several Facebook posts by Gunn and Berkeley GOP Chairman Tim Callanan, who at one point posted on Facebook that challengers would be valid only if they brought in their computer laptop to file their Statement of Economic Interest form at the same time they filed for office. Gunn did not do that.
Callanan testified that Gunn filed on March 26, but Callís attorney, Frank Cisa, noted Gunnís Facebook post didnít declare his candidacy until a day or two later.
ďSocial media gets people in trouble all the time,Ē Cisa told the judge. ďBased upon the postings, I would say the testimony offered by these two witnesses (Gunn and Callanan) is not credible.Ē
Callanan said it was ridiculous to think he bent the rules for Gunn when the party kicked off the ballot GOP House 15 candidate Samuel Rivers ó one of Callananís best friends.
Gunn testified that he Googled how to file for office and found instructions telling him to file a paper copy of his Statement of Economic Interest, which he found tucked away on a county website. The State Ethics Commission had removed the printable version from its own website after lawmakers required online filing, but the Supreme Court ó in a shock to many ó ruled in May that paper copies were still needed.
Nicholsonís ruling Friday was not based on Gunnís actions but on the argument of State Election Commission attorney Ariail Kirk, who said it was too late to consider Gunnís challenge because parties had to certify their candidates by noon Wednesday.
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.