Thursday, July 3, 2014
Daniel Island lawyer Josh Whitley has taken the helm of the county’s Republican party after weeks of the Grand Old Party resembling the Donner Party.
Chair Terry Hardesty stepped down just days before the June 24 runoff and endorsed Moncks Corner Mayor Bill Peagler for county supervisor and former Rep. James Law for county council’s District 6 seat. Hardesty made his announcement on the GOP’s Facebook page, where some of the most contentious battles within the party are publicly visible.
But now with a win for Peagler and loss for Law, the party could be looking to mend itself.
The Post and Courier reported last week that Daniel Island lawyer James Whitley was nominated for the post by County Councilman Tim Callanan and seconded by newly elected Councilman Tommy Newell. Newell and Callanan have already had public clashes on the party’s Facebook page.
Hardesty’s resignation-then-endorsement is becoming a trend for Berkeley County Republican Party.
Hardesty’s predecessor, Callanan, stepped down twice to endorse political candidates: Rick Santorum seeking the GOP nod for president, and then later Berkeley County Sen. Larry Grooms seeking the GOP nod for Congressional District 1. Callanan was reinstated as chair between those endorsements.
Previously, Whitley, along with Hardesty, pushed for the state to investigate Berkeley County School District in the wake of the 2012 successful Yes4Schools campaign. The investigation led to an indictment of a district employee.