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      3-judge panel to hear Charleston primary case

      By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A three-judge panel will hear a federal lawsuit disputing the results of a special South Carolina Senate primary.

      A voter sued after the state Supreme Court ruled that a candidate who had once been removed from the ballot could remain in the race to fill the seat vacated by current Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell.

      Reginald Williams' suit says South Carolina should have sought federal approval before returning former Charleston County councilman Paul Thurmond to the ballot, just as it must for any election law changes.

      Chief Judge William Traxler of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appointed the panel last week, and a hearing is scheduled Oct. 16.

      Thurmond and state Sen. Walter Hundley will face off in a runoff today.

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