Kellam withdraws declaration of candidacy for Superior Court Clerk

Published 10:00 am Friday, March 25, 2016


AMERICUS — Renae Barnes Kellam has withdrawn her candidacy for Clerk of Sumter County Superior Court. The Sumter County Board of Elections issued the following statement Monday morning.
“Ms. Katheryn Kellam came into the Office of Elections  late last Friday afternoon, March 18, 2016, and requested that she be allowed to withdraw her Declaration of Candidacy for the May 24, 2016 election. On behalf of the Board of Elections, this request was granted by the Supervisor of Elections. Ms. Kellam also stated that she wished to thank the Board and everyone involved for their efforts on this issue, and requires nor desires any  further action on this matter by the Board of Elections. Pending further discussion by the Board, this matter is closed.”
A hearing had been held by the Sumter County Board of Elections on March 15, for the challenge to Kellam’s candidacy. During that hearing, the board learned from Robert Brady, elections supervisor, that Kellam had used the name Renae Barnes Kellam on her qualifying paperwork, and that no such name exists on the Sumter County Voters List. One of the qualifications for public office is that the candidate be eligible to vote in the election for the office the candidate is seeking. In this case, since Kellam’s name did not appear on the list, Brady made the challenge. The voter list does include a Katheryn Renae Kellam with the same birth date, who had not voted since 2008.
All members of the Board of Elections were present at the hearing: Chairman Mike Tracy, who conducted the hearing, and board members Phil Deese, June Ewing, James Gaston and Raven Payne.
Kellam was accompanied by local attorney Sam Merritt, for whom she works at the local Public Defender’s Office, who is representing her pro bono. Sumter County attorney, Kimberly Reid, was not present.
After questioning Kellam, Tracy said, “We have no interest in stopping someone from running, but there are regulations.”
The board was to further investigate the voting record of Katheryn Renae Kellam being that Kellam insisted that she had voted since 2008, having voted for her two brothers, one of whom who is on the Sumter County Board of Education and the other who was a former state court judge.
Brady said, “Whatever we find with that, Renae Barnes Kellam has no voting or residence history in Sumter County.”