Franklin Quits Race

Bryan Franklin

BLYTHEWOOD – Ten days after filing to run for a seat on Blythewood Town Council, Ashley Oaks resident Bryan Franklin has withdrawn from the race. Franklin, who is an Army Reserve Officer, sent an email to Town Clerk Martha Weaver last Thursday announcing that he was withdrawing because of his active duty military status.

“After reviewing the Department of Defense Directive [1344.1 Uniformed Personnel and Holding Civil Office] provided to me, it appears it would be better for me to withdraw as a candidate for Blythewood Town Council this election cycle,” Franklin wrote. “I am an Army Reserve Officer, but I am serving in an active status for more than 270 days.” Franklin said that while he will retire on the last day of his order which is Sept. 30, 2014, he is in an ‘active status’ as defined in the Directive, and, in order to run for elective office, would require a waiver issued by the Secretary of the Army.

In an interview with The Voice, Franklin said that even if he were granted a waiver, the Directive prohibited him from participating in his own campaign in any way.

“So why would I run if I couldn’t campaign and get my message out? That wouldn’t be beneficial.” Franklin said. In his email to Weaver, Franklin wrote, “It is clear that the Defense Department is trying to separate the branches of government completely, including for the local, nonpartisan civil offices.” Franklin said he would comply with and support the Directive fully while still in uniform.

In an email back to Franklin, Weaver explained that ‘active duty does not deem you ineligible as far as the Town of Blythewood or the Richland County Election Commission are concerned. Eligibility requires that you are a citizen within the town limits of Blythewood and a registered voter in the Town of Blythewood.”

Because Franklin’s candidacy had already been submitted by the Town to the Richland County Election Commission and the SC Ethics Commission, Weaver said he would be required to supply the Town with a signed letter officially withdrawing his candidacy.