Allegations that “Harry Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” a Factor in Outcome

KiblerLeeCorbin24TEHarry Cato has represented Northern Greenville County in the South Carolina House for two decades. During those years he has never had a serious challenge – until this year.

Two challengers, Nathan Earle and Tom Corbin filed to challenge Cato in the Republican Primary. Corbin got more than enough votes to take the victory outright and replace Cato as the Republican candidate.

Harry Cato and his brother operate a business on White Horse Road in Greenville. He has two adult sons by his first wife who works as a public school teacher in Greenville County. In recent years, Cato married a Columbia attorney. Promoted to the second highest position in the state House of Representatives also required more time in Columbia and constituents in District 17 began seeing less of Cato locally, at least they perceived that they saw him more rarely.

A local newspaper published a story claiming that Corbin had discovered what appeared to be irregularities in Cato’s place of residence.  Documents were reportedly provided to the State Republican Party by the Corbin campaign. The GOP declined to pursue the matter and it appeared to have been dropped as an issue in the election.

Corbin informed The Times Examiner that he was concerned that if Cato won the primary election that the Democrat Candidate would use the issue to defeat the incumbent and the district would be represented by a Democrat.

During the weeks prior to the election, the Corbin campaign distributed a four-page publication titled The Corbin Gazzette. The title of one of the articles in the publication was, “Harry Doesn’t Live Here Any More: Cato’s move to Lexington County with new wife leaves SC House District 17 without representation in State Legislature.”

The article summarizes the information regarding residence that had surfaced earlier.

Corbin received 59 percent of the vote in a three candidate race. and  will face a Democrat in the November General Election.

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