The South Carolina Democratic Party will have a new leader next spring following the Alvin Greene political debacle.
Party chairwoman Carol Fowler told The State she won't seek a third term in the spring of 2011. Fowler said her decision not to seek re-election is not due to Greene, the party's surprise U.S. Senate nominee, who is facing a federal obscenity charge.
Greene, of Manning, whose finances are being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division, is in for a steep uphill battle in November's general election when he faces incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of Greenville.
"Twice is plenty. I've never intended to run again," Fowler said. "I don't think anybody should be the state chair more than two terms. You always need new ideas so the party doesn't get stagnant."
For a few weeks, some Democratic fingers have been pointed at the party's leaders, and Fowler specifically, for not doing more to prevent Greene from running and for not bolstering the candidacy of his opponent, Vic Rawl, a Charleston County Council member and former circuit judge. Most of the criticism has taken place quietly as party members focus on getting their party's nominee for governor, Vincent Sheheen, elected.
Fowler and some other Democrats say there is little she and the state party could have done to halt Greene's candidacy after he paid the required $10,440 filing fee.
"I tried a bit to discourage him when he came in to file because I thought he was a bit naive on what it would take to run and win and how much this would cost," Fowler said of Greene, an unemployed Army veteran whose mental capacity has been called into question by some. "I did try to make him understand that the odds were against him, that he would have to raise millions of dollars — the same kind of conversations I've had with several potential candidates. But he was unfazed by it all."