SC senators attempting to put candidates on ballot

A state Senate committee took the first step toward putting candidates back on primary ballots Tuesday.

That's after the state Supreme Court ruled last week that nearly 200 candidates should not be allowed to appear on the primary ballot because they improperly filed financial paperwork.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a measure Tuesday that would recertify those candidates who filed the required financial forms online by April 20.

One committee member, Republican Senator Jake Knotts opposes the bill and that sparked a heated exchange between Knotts and the wife of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson.

Roxanne Wilson pointed a finger at Knotts and said he was wrong to object to the bill. Mrs. Wilson's sister is among the candidates disqualified by the Supreme Court ruling.

After a closed-door meeting between the two in Knotts' office, Wilson emerged to say they had made peace over the issue.

But with Knotts and another senator objecting to the legislation, the full Senate changed course.

Senators will try Wednesday to tack the Senate bill as an amendment onto an election bill that's already cleared the House, but has yet to be signed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

Other senators say the only way to avoid delaying the primary is to join a federal lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie has scheduled the hearing for Thursday afternoon in Columbia on a suit filed by state Senate candidate Amanda Somers.

Somers filed the lawsuit, arguing that her candidacy was thrown into question by the Supreme Court ruling.

Somers was ultimately certified to remain on the ballot, but nearly 200 candidates were not.

Any legislative fix to the ballot mix-up would require U.S. Department of Justice approval.

The Associated Press contributed to this report