SC Democratic Party votes to deny motion after protests filed in race for House

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 3:46 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:16 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A motion was denied at a hearing on Thursday after protests were filed in the election for the Democratic nominee for South Carolina State House District 25, which is set to go to a runoff vote.

Wendell Jones and Derrick Quarles were the two top Democratic candidates after the South Carolina primary and will be on the ballot for a runoff election on June 28.

Democratic challengers Bruce Wilson and Adriene Atkinson filed petitions following the primary, claiming Quarles is ineligible to run for office due to a previous felony conviction.

According to court records, Quarles pleaded guilty to grand larceny in 2004.

Quarles released the following statement after the petitions were filed:

“As a young man growing up in District 25, I made mistakes and decisions that I’m not proud of. I entered the juvenile system because of decisions that I made over 20 years ago. At the age of 15, I stood before a Family Court Judge and witnessed the judge sentence me as an adult for a crime that I committed as a juvenile.

Subsequently, I found myself standing in courtrooms uninformed, ill-advised and taking plea deals for charges that I should have fought. I have been fighting the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black people (specifically Black boys) ever since.

Ultimately I’m grateful, and I hold out hope that my past decisions have molded me into the passionate leader and community advocate that I am today.

With over a decade of serving my community from the local level, state level and being recognized at the White House, I decided that I wanted to serve in a more meaningful capacity and run for office.

After seeking counsel, I began the process of applying for, and receiving a pardon by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. At the time of filing for candidacy, I was of the belief that I was fully eligible to run for and hold office. After having successfully made it into the runoff, I received character attacks and allegations were made questioning my eligibility.

Crime and punishment policies for juvenile offenders is personal to me because it speaks to what many young black and brown boys are exposed to in the legal system, and what I experienced myself.

My legal team is adamantly reviewing this ongoing challenge to my eligibility. Having entered this race with the intention of better serving my community, I have been committed to running a campaign of integrity.

No matter the outcome, I will remain committed to the work I have dedicated my life to and will continue fighting and working for the people of this community.”

Derrick Quarles

The committee voted 15- 10 to deny the motion.

The South Carolina Democratic Party voted that Quarles will remain on the ballot.