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2010-MO-002 - Tempel v. Platt

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Supreme Court


George E. Tempel, Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party, Respondent,

v.

Eugene Platt, Appellant.


Appeal From Charleston County
R. Markley Dennis, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Memorandum Opinion No. 2010-MO-002
Heard January 6, 2010 – Filed January 19, 2010  


AFFIRMED


M. Laughlin McDonald and Bryan L. Sells, both of Atlanta, Georgia, for Appellant.

Forrest Truett Nettles, II, of Charleston, for Respondent.


PER CURIAM:  George E. Tempel, Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party, brought this action to enjoin Eugene Platt from being a candidate for the South Carolina House of Representatives in the November 2008 general election after Platt was defeated in the Democratic Party primary election.  The circuit court granted the injunction pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 7-11-210, which authorizes a party chairman to obtain injunctive relief if a defeated party primary candidate thereafter offers or campaigns as a candidate in the ensuing general election in which the party has a nominee.  Platt appeals.

We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR and the following authorities:  South Carolina Dep't of Transp. v. First Carolina Corp., 372 S.C. 295, 301, 641 S.E.2d 903, 907 (2007) (stating "[i]t is axiomatic that an issue cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, but must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial judge to be preserved for appellate review" (alteration in original) (quoting Wilder Corp. v. Wilke, 330 S.C. 71, 76, 497 S.E.2d 731, 733 (1998))); Beaufort County v. Butler, 316 S.C. 465, 451 S.E.2d 386 (1994) (observing that constitutional issues must be timely raised to be preserved for appeal); Hoffman v. Powell, 298 S.C. 338, 380 S.E.2d 821 (1989) (holding issues, including constitutional challenges, must be both raised to and ruled upon by the trial court to be preserved for appellate review); see Florence County Democratic Party v. Johnson, 281 S.C. 218, 314 S.E.2d 335 (1984) (rejecting constitutional challenges to section 7-11-210); see also Clingman v. Beaver, 544 U.S. 581 (2005) (finding a state's semiclosed primary advanced a number of regulatory interests that the Court recognized as important, including guarding against party raiding and sore loser candidacies); Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party, 520 U.S. 351, 365 (1997) (stating "because the burdens the fusion ban imposes on the party's associational rights are not severe, the State need not narrowly tailor the means it chooses to promote ballot integrity," and "[t]he Constitution does not require that [a state] compromise the policy choices embodied in its ballot-access requirements to accommodate [a party's] fusion strategy"); Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780, 788 (1983) (noting "the state's important regulatory interests are generally sufficient to justify reasonable, nondiscriminatory restrictions" on the electoral process); Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 734-35 (1974) (observing that prohibitions on a defeated party candidate from running in the general election serve to limit the names on the ballot to those who have won the primaries and properly-qualified independents; thus, they "prevent the losers from continuing the struggle" and "winnow out" all but the chosen candidates in an orderly manner that preserves the integrity of the electoral process).  As to Platt's allegation concerning the sufficiency of the evidence and the circuit court's findings, we find the circuit court did not err in granting the injunction as provided by law.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 7-11-210 (Supp. 2009). 

AFFIRMED.

TOAL, C.J., PLEICONES, BEATTY, KITTREDGE and HEARN, JJ., concur.