A man thrown off the primary ballot says he is suspending efforts to run as a write-in candidate against Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell in the Nov. 6 election.

Even so, Darnell “Bubba” Johnson says he’s continuing his push to show the sheriff violated the same rule that got him kicked off the ballot.

“The situation is so volatile here in Orangeburg County as it relates to elections. Until we can get it straightened out, I will be suspending my campaign,” Johnson said.

In May, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled candidates who had not filed a paper copy of a Statement of Economic Interest, along with a Statement of Intention of Candidacy, by the deadline could not be on the June 12 primary ballot.

As a result, Johnson and about 200 other candidates across the state were removed from the ballot.

The court’s ruling did not affect all candidates. Incumbents had a different deadline to meet.

Johnson claims Ravenell missed the paperwork deadline in 2010 when he sought to fill the unexpired term of the late Sheriff Larry Williams.

Because of that failure, Johnson claims Ravenell could not have been elected sheriff and, therefore, had to meet the deadline for challengers, not incumbents, this time around. Johnson claims Ravenell did not.

The Democratic Party has said there’s no merit to his complaint.

Johnson also took the issue to the State Law Enforcement Division in an Aug. 16 letter. In a response dated Sept. 6, SLED said Johnson’s complaint “fails to meet the criteria established for a SLED investigation. SLED normally enters matters as described by you only after review by a solicitor or at the request of the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction.”

Johnson says he has since made complaints to the county solicitor, the governor’s office and the FBI.

“I have evaluated every means and no one has told me anything,” he said. “It is very frustrating.”

Ravenell did not immediately respond to the matter.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@times anddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551.

(7) comments

Stay True

This sounds like a serious situation. There has to be merit to his complaint for him to suspend his campaign to challenge the Sheriff. He's not dropping the ball. He's challenging the wrong doing in which no one has challenged an elected official in Orangeburg County in recent years. Why is Ravenell never available when the heat is on? Seems to me that he's ducking every time a issue comes up especially this one. The FEDS will get it right when the state won't. Election law violation, Pathetic!

Stay True

I wonder if the solicitor will do the right thing now since he knows that the complaint was filed with the FBI also. Bring in the Feds, this corruption must go and go now. This young man is alright with me because he has the guts to stand for what's right. The people of Orangeburg just simply need to stand with him and not fight against him as he challenge wrongdoing of the Sheriff. Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong! Keep pushing Bubba!


Good choice.

Hope my style satisfies everyone.


staytrue aka staydrunk! yall should call jessie and al..... this is definitely fbi worthy.....nancy grace will probably come down to do her show....wowee the crime of the century has occured....a worthlesss candidate doesnt make the ballot so he tries to bully the sheriff... call judge judy too


Mr. Johnson, I applaud you for your continued efforts in trying to bring the truth to the surface about Ravenell. It was not fair to you or the 200 other candidates across the state to be taken off of the ballot for the same reason Ravenell should have been. Ravenell knows his paperwork was late. That just goes to show he is not honest. My hope is that all of your hard work will pay off in the end. People need to know the truth and once again I applaud you for trying to bring it to light.


Norwegian, you think your comment is funny? I've heard some pretty strong rumors from some very reliable sources that your boss is in over his head. If that's true and truth prevails, will you be making those clownish comments then? I agree with Stay True, Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong. KEEP PUSHING BUBBA!


norwegain im with you we got grea sheriff in office we dnt need a city cop thaat has a bad attitude he need to move on and continue giving traffic tickets where hes best at with SHERIFF RAENELL KEEP UR HEAD UP AS LONG AS YOU RUN FOR OFFICE I WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOU

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