COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene is running for office again, this time an open seat in the South Carolina state Legislature.
Greene, an unemployed U.S. Army veteran who faces criminal obscenity charges, is one of three Democrats running to fill the District 64 vacancy created by the death of state Rep. Cathy Harvin.
Greene paid his $165 filing fee on Christmas Eve, said Clarendon County Democratic Party Chairman Cal Land.
Greene once again will be the underdog, facing two established Clarendon County politicians.
Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart has filed to run in the primary, Land said. Manning Mayor Kevin Johnson also has said he will run.
The District 64 primary is scheduled for Feb. 15. If necessary, a runoff will be held two weeks later. The special election to fill the House seat will be held April 5.
Republican officials were unavailable Monday to say whether any GOP candidates have filed for the reliably Democratic seat.
Greene became a national celebrity this year after winning the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., despite running no visible campaign. After his primary win, it was reported Greene had been arrested in 2009 on charges of showing pornographic images to a female student at the University of South Carolina. Greene also gave a series of awkward, halting interviews.
DeMint, who barely campaigned, crushed Greene 61 percent to 28 percent in the November general election.
Land said he expects Greene's candidacy likely will draw more attention to the state House race. "(But) I don't think it's going to be abnormal as far as (increasing) the turnout."
Reached Monday, Greene declined to say what issues he will campaign on.
"Filing doesn't close until next week," Greene, 33, said, referring to the Jan. 3 deadline to file. He repeated the statement again before hanging up.
Stewart, 62, said residents of the largely rural district are concerned about jobs, education and property taxes. He said he would tap into his 30 years in public office, including the last decade on Clarendon County Council, to draw more employers to the area. "We have a beautiful, rural county, but we just don't have a lot of jobs or a strong tax base."
Johnson, a state Department of Revenue employee, agrees.
"Everything else is contingent on those three things," said Johnson, 50, president of the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
Greene's Senate bid has increased his name recognition. But, a Democratic strategist said, that may not benefit him.
"Normally name ID is a good thing," Charleston, S.C.-based consultant Lachlan McIntosh said. "In (Greene's) case, that may not be."