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      Hartsville man challenging Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom

      Richard Eckstrom

      COLUMBIA, S.C. - Hartsville businessman Michael Luppe is seeking to become South Carolina's chief accountant.

      Luppe told The Associated Press on Monday he is challenging Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom in this year's Republican primary.

      Luppe is a buyer with Otis Elevator in Hartsville. He says his experience comparing prices and balancing accounts gives him the experience needed for the job.

      Eckstrom is expected to seek a fourth term.

      In March, he is scheduled to have a hearing on state Ethics Commission charges that he violated the state's ethics law by using campaign money to accompany his girlfriend to the Republican National Convention last year.

      Eckstrom's staff has said the law allows travel expenses connected to a political event to be paid from campaign coffers.