Just over a week ago, Alvin Greene was a nobody facing felony charges for lewd behavior. Today, he is the Democratic candidate for South Carolina's Senate seat. Just how he did it is still a mystery that's triggered rumors of voter fraud and allegations that Greene is a Republican plant. No doubt this "trainwreck" will continue to unfold, but for those who've missed a chapter, here's a concise timeline of Greene's journey from soldier to widely debated political sensation:
Greene is discharged from the Army six months before the end of his three-year commitment. Though the Pentagon says he was awarded four medals, Greene admits his discharge was "involuntary," adding "things weren't working out."
Greene is charged with an obscenity after allegedly showing pornography to a University of South Carolina student in a school library. He denies the charges.
Greene pays a $10,400 filing fee to get onto the ballot for the Democrat primary for South Carolina's senate seat. He attempts to pay with a personal check, until Democratic Party headquarters staff point out that he needs to open a campaign account.
In what is apparently his only media interview before election day, Greene speaks to the Columbia Free Times' Corey Hutchins about his campaign. The newspaper suggests Greene might be a "Republican place marker," a charge which Greene denies. It also reports that Greene "has not taken the steps one might expect from an active candidate — some of them required by law," such as filing disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Greene beats his far more experienced rival, Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl, in the primary with 59 percent of the vote — officially becoming the Democrat candidate to take on GOP Senator Jim DeMint in November. In Greene's first post-win interview, with Mother Jones' Suzy Khimm, he speaks in "rapid-fire, fragmentary sentences, repeating certain phrases or interrupting himself multiple times during the same sentence while he searched for the right words."
The AP's Meg Kinnard reports Greene's obscenity charges. The South Carolina Democratic Party calls on Greene to resign. He declines.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D—SC) suggests Greene might have been planted in the race by Republicans. "I think some shenanigans are going on in South Carolina," he says, calling for an investigation. "Somebody gave [Greene] that $10,000." Greene denies the charges in an "excessively uncomfortable" interview with Keith Olbermann on CNBC.
Greene denies being "mentally impaired" during an interview with CNN's Doug Lemon, which Lemon describes as one of the most "bizarre" in his career.
Vic Rawl, the four-term former lawmaker who lost to Greene in the primary, announces a legal challenge to the election results and calls for an investigation into voter fraud: "We do not know that anything was done by anyone to tamper with Tuesday's election," he says, "or whether there may have been innocuous machine malfunctions, and we are promoting no theories about either possibility... However, we do feel that further investigation is warranted."
Rep. Clyburn repeats his allegations that Greene is a plant, and claims ballot tampering may be to blame for his victory. There is "something wrong" with the balloting machinery in South Carolina, Clyburn tells Fox News. "I believe there was some hacking done into that computer." The State Election Commission denies Clyburn's theory. Meanwhile, a Rasmussen poll shows Jim DeMint leading Greene by 37 percentage points.