No other Lowcountry election in recent memory has been as shaped by the courts as this year’s Senate District 41 race.

It began in a Columbia courtroom earlier this year, when Ken Ard pled guilty to ethics violations shortly after he resigned as South Carolina’s lieutenant governor.

Ard’s move forced Sen. Glenn McConnell to resign the District 41 Senate seat and fill the vacancy — a big drop in power for a longtime Republican Senator who had risen to the President Pro Tem post.

The courts continued to shape the race with a ruling that knocked almost all Republican hopefuls from this fall’s ballot because they failed to file a paper copy of an ethics form when they filed for office.

Former Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond survived through the June 12 primary, but a judge later ruled he was ineligible for this reason. Thurmond claimed his part-time North Charleston prosecutor post made him a public official and exempt from that ruling.

Democrat and former Charleston City Councilman Paul Tinkler said all the legal wrangling has been hard on him as well as on Thurmond.

“It’s not a normal campaign on either side,” he said Friday. “It’s hard to run a campaign when you don’t know whether you’re going to have an opponent, and if so, who that opponent is.”

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.