Mary Ann Chastain/AP
Alvin Greene won the Democratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina's primary on Tuesday. But now the party wants him to withdraw from the race because he's been charged with a felony.
Alvin Greene won the Democratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina's primary on Tuesday. But now the party wants him to withdraw from the race because he's been charged with a felony. Mary Ann Chastain/AP
South Carolina's Democratic Party has asked its own Senate nominee to withdraw after learning the man has been arrested on a felony charge.
Chairwoman Carol Fowler said she asked Alvin Greene to withdraw from the campaign against U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint on Wednesday after The Associated Press unearthed court records showing Greene was arrested in November for allegedly showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student. The felony charge carries up to five years in prison.
"I did not do this lightly, as I believe strongly that the Democratic voters of this state have the right to select our nominee," Fowler said. "But this new information about Mr. Greene ... would certainly have affected the decisions of many of those voters."
Greene has yet to be indicted and would not comment on the felony charge. But he said he would not step aside.
"The Democratic Party has chosen their nominee, and we have to stand behind their choice," Greene told the AP at his home in Manning. "The people have spoken. We need to be pro-South Carolina, not anti-Greene."
On Tuesday, the unemployed veteran stunned state Democratic Party leaders by defeating a well-funded attorney to become the party's nominee for U.S. Senate. Greene, 32, raised no money and had no campaign website.
South Carolina state law prohibits convicted felons from serving in state office. Felons can serve in federal office, although the U.S. House or Senate could vote to expel any member deemed unfit to serve.