Prosecutor has busy year ahead: re-election campaign, murder trial

9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson

Charleston’s 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has a busy 2016 ahead: the trial of accused Emanuel AME Church murderer Dylann Roof, a re-election campaign and all the other duties that go with prosecuting criminals in Charleston and Berkeley counties.

“I am running again for sure,” Wilson, a Republican, confirmed last week. Democrats, meanwhile, say they will find someone to run against her next November.

“We are actively looking for challengers for all the Courthouse seats,” said Charleston County Party Chairman Brady Quirk-Garvan. That includes the solicitor’s post. The party “is talking to a number of people,” he added but didn’t name names.

Wilson already has a sizeable war chest with more than $123,000 cash on hand, according to her State Ethics Commission filing.

Whether Roof’s trial goes forward next July, as the scheduling order now says, is not a certainty. Complicated cases such as the Emanuel shooting often get delayed for a number of reasons and this one could become a death penalty case. Nine people were slain at Emanuel on June 17 while they worshipped.

Wilson has been the chief elected prosecutor for Charleston and Berkeley counties since 2007 following the death of Ralph Hoisington. She ran unopposed in 2012.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford said there’s no truth to the report that he’ll attend the hippie festival known as Burning Man in the Nevada desert later this month as the guest of anti-tax leader Grover Norquist.

“Business Insider” reported that Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, is going back to Burning Man and was set to take Sanford, R-S.C., with him. “I’m renting an RV to go to Burning Man,” Norquist said. “I don’t want to buy an RV. I don’t particularly want to rent a new one.”

He also was quoted as saying “My wife’s going to come. And Congressman Sanford, I believe, is going to come as well and crash with us.”

Sanford was asked about the report last week during an appearance of GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul in Mount Pleasant. “It was news to me when I read it,” Sanford said. Where did the story come from? “I don’t know,” he said.

Burning Man is a yearly counter-culture retreat held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. Thousands of attendees live a tribal existence fueled by psychedelic drugs, music and celebrating their independence. It ends with the burning of giant human-shaped wooden statute. The dates are Aug. 30-Sept. 7.

The Charleston County GOP is sponsoring a debate watch-party Thursday at the Mount Pleasant Cinebarre featuring the top 10 candidates who’ll make it on the Fox News stage in Cleveland.

The event runs from 8:30-11 p.m. “with free eats” provided by Chairman Larry Kobrovsky, the invite said. The debate runs from 9-11 p.m. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will go to the Charleston County Republican Party. Cinebarre is located at 963 Houston Northcutt Blvd.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz brings his “Country Tour Kickoff Rally” to Mount Pleasant at 1 p.m. Friday in the Liberty Tap Room, 1028 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.

On Tuesday, Democratic former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will meet with community leaders, elected officials, and representatives of the state’s historically black colleges and universities at two events in the Columbia area.

Compiled by reporter Schuyler Kropf