SC Senate Leader says votes are being swapped for Judicial Appointments in S.C. General Assembly

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

At a press conference last night, First Judicial Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe played an audio of S.C. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey. In that audio, Massey says, “There’s a lot of vote swapping that goes on in the House.” Massey adds, “I don’t like the way that goes down.”

Statement made by S.C. Senate Leader Massey


South Carolina state law reads:

SECTION 2-19-70. Prohibition against dual offices, privileges of the floor, and pledges.

(A) No member of the General Assembly may be elected to a judicial office while he is serving in the General Assembly nor shall that person be elected to a judicial office for a period of one year after he either:

(1) ceases to be a member of the General Assembly; or

(2) fails to file for election to the General Assembly in accordance with Section 7-11-15.

(B) The privilege of the floor in either house of the General Assembly may not be granted to any candidate or any immediate family member of a candidate unless the family member is serving in the General Assembly, during the time the candidate’s application is pending before the commission and during the time his nomination by the commission for election to a particular judicial office is pending in the General Assembly.

(C) No candidate for judicial office may seek directly or indirectly the pledge of a member of the General Assembly’s vote or, directly or indirectly, contact a member of the General Assembly regarding screening for the judicial office until the qualifications of all candidates for that office have been determined by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and the commission has formally released its report as to the qualifications of all candidates for the vacancy to the General Assembly. No member of the General Assembly may offer his pledge until the qualifications of all candidates for that office have been determined by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and until the commission has formally released its report as to the qualifications of its nominees to the General Assembly. The formal release of the report of qualifications shall occur no earlier than forty-eight hours after the nominees have been initially released to members of the General Assembly. For purposes of this section, indirectly seeking a pledge means the candidate, or someone acting on behalf of and at the request of the candidate, requesting a person to contact a member of the General Assembly on behalf of the candidate before nominations for that office are formally made by the commission. The prohibitions of this section do not extend to an announcement of candidacy by the candidate and statements by the candidate detailing the candidate’s qualifications.

(D) No member of the General Assembly may trade anything of value, including pledges to vote for legislation or for other candidates, in exchange for another member’s pledge to vote for a candidate for judicial office.

(E) Violations of this section may be considered by the merit selection commission when it considers the candidate’s qualifications. Violations of this section by members of the General Assembly shall be reported by the commission to the House or Senate Ethics Committee, as may be applicable. Violations of this section by nonlegislative commission members shall be reported by the commission to the State Ethics Commission. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, the violator must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days. Cases tried under this section may not be transferred from general sessions court pursuant to Section 22-3-545.


We reached out to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson. We have not heard back from him as of today’s publishing date.


MyrtleBeachSC News also reached out to the Judicial Merit Selection Committee members listed here:

March 14, 2023
Senate Appointees:
Senator Luke A. Rankin (2017)
101 Gressette Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 212-6610
Bus: 201 Beaty Street
Conway, SC 29526
(843) 248-2405

Senator Ronnie A. Sabb (2017)
504 Gressette Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 212-6032
Bus: P.O. Box 311
Greeleyville, SC 29056
(843) 355-5349

Senator Scott Talley (2020)
612 Gressette Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 212-6048
Bus: 134 Oakland Ave.
Spartanburg, SC 29302
(864) 595-2966

Ms. Hope Blackley (2019)
104 South Main Street, Suite 801
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 241-0175
House Appointees:

Representative Micajah P. “Micah”
Caskey, IV (2022)
323B Blatt Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 212-6959
2811 Dalewood Drive
West Columbia, SC 29170
(803) 724-3624

Representative J. Todd Rutherford (2016)
335B Blatt Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-9441
P.O. Box 1452
Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 256-3003

Representative Wallace H. “Jay” Jordan
Jr. (2022)
519B Blatt Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-3114
626 W. Evans St.
Florence, SC 29510
(843) 662-4474

Mr. Andrew N. Safran (2016)
P.O. Box 12089
Columbia, SC 29211
(803) 256-6689

Mr. J.P. “Pete” Strom (2019) Ms. Lucy Grey McIver (2018)
2110 North Beltline Boulevard I-20 Alpine Road, Mail Code AA-270
Columbia, SC 29204 Columbia, SC 29219
(803) 252-4800 (803) 264-3395

We specifically inquired about a recent Judgeship appointment for former House of Representative Alan Clemmons.


Horry Senator Luke Rankin

Senator Rankin and the JMSC team,

Our news team is following up on a concerning statement allegedly made by Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey on a recorded line.

Senator Rankin – House Rep. Joe White a member of the S.C. House from District 40, was present at this meeting last night. He questioned whether this could be quid pro quo.

I am particularly wanting input from you on former S.C. House of Representative Member Alan Clemmons’ role in calling your opponent a liar in the last election.  

Alan Clemmons

Family Court Judge Bromell Holmes allowed child protected statements to be leaked and placed into a public file.  You later used those leaked statements in ongoing T.V. ads

Jan Bromell Holmes
15th Circuit Family Court Judge Jan Bromell Holmes

Seizing upon this moment, Representative Clemmons called a press conference inviting a bevy of local leaders, including Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, who spoke about these files.  Clemmons also tied up escrow monies your opponent planned to put into his campaign. Clemmons claimed the escrow check bounced.   Records later showed no escrow funds were ever paid to his law firm.  When confronted,  the supposed buyer of your opponent’s home ran from camera view.  The closing Real Estate Agent, Melanie Helmer, also refused to comment. 

Clemmons (copied here) was running unopposed for his S.C. House seat at that time.  Only one month afterward he stepped down???  One year later,  Clemmons was appointed, without the required public transparency, by your local delegation.

I ask you, was former S.C. House Rep Alan Clemmons’ Master in Equity Judgeship appointment quid pro quo?

I ask all above,  are we swapping votes for S.C. Judicial appointments?

Mr. Rankin, as head of the Senate Judiciary,  this oversight falls at your doorstep.

I hope a full inquiry by the JMSC will be conducted.

If the Senate Leader’s comments are accurate,  these actions fully compromise trust in an already suspect S.C. Judiciary. 

Other news outlets, including WIS T.V. 10 are covering this item and have already published.

We wished to wait and hear from you Senator Rankin, as well as any members of the JMSC on this matter.

All comments will be included in our article. 

David Hucks

Publisher, MyrtleBeachSC News

MyrtleBeachSC News hopes to get statements from A.G. Alan Wilson, Senator Luke Rankin, and members of the JMSC today. We will keep our readers posted.

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