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SC Republican Party supports opponent of GOP incumbent

May 3, 2020 GMT

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Republican Party is paying for campaign material against a current state legislator from their own party.

The flyers support Vaughn Parfitt in the June 9 Republican Party over Rep. Jonathon Hill of Townville, who is seeking a fourth term, the Anderson Independent-Mail reported.

The mailer calls Parfitt a “hardworking, cooperative conservative ready to say Yes to getting things DONE for Anderson County.” The mailer states that it was paid for by SCGOP and includes the Columbia address for the state party.

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Hill has clashed with the Republican leadership in the House for his six years at the Statehouse. The House Republican Caucus suspended them from their group last year, saying Hill publicly shared private conversations, misstating the positions and comments of his GOP colleagues.

Hill said state Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick did not tell him they were going to spend money on his primary opponent and have not returned his calls since the mailer was sent.

“I have given him no reason to endorse my opponent, and I didn’t want to believe at first that he would do this to me. I’ve always known the state party to stay conspicuously neutral in primary races, until now,” Hill told the newspaper.

Hill said he remains a member in good standing with the Anderson County and state Republican parties.

Parfitt is an optometrist and said he welcomes the support from the state party. His campaign manager said the reason for the support is no secret.

“Jonathon Hill has made choices to severely alienate himself from party and caucus leadership, choices that have put his district at a disadvantage,” campaign manager, Evan Newman said.

State party leaders did not return phone calls or text messages from the newspaper.