[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/10/art.greene.scdp.jpg caption="The Democrat who lost to political unknown Alvin Greene (above) in the South Carolina Senate primary is formally contesting the results of the election, citing 'strange circumstances' surrounding the vote."]
(CNN) - The Democrat who lost to political unknown Alvin Greene in last Tuesday's South Carolina Senate primary is formally contesting the results of the election.
His fate now rests with the state Democratic Party's 92-member executive committee, which will meet on Thursday to hear evidence of the challenge and decide whether to throw out the primary results - an unlikely prospect, Democrats say, without precedent in South Carolina politics.
Charleston City Councilman Vic Rawl said Monday he is filing the protest with the state party because there is "a cloud over Tuesday's election," which Greene won by a 59-41 margin over Rawl.
Speaking to reporters in Charleston, Rawl cited "strange circumstances" surrounding the primary vote including "irregularities" in the election results and "the well-documented unreliability" of South Carolina voting machines.
Greene attracted national curiosity when he won the primary despite not having waged any kind of formal campaign. But Rawl, a former state legislator, had little statewide name recognition and did not run a television or radio ad in the run-up to the vote.
Neither candidate bears much of a chance against the Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint, come November.
Rawl cast his protest as benevolent, saying his goal is not to bump Greene from the general election ballot but to help fix the state's electoral process for future campaigns.
"I would like to speak directly to Mr. Greene and say: 'Sir, this is not about you, and it's not about me. I wish you and your family nothing but the best in the weeks and months ahead,'" Rawl said, according to prepared remarks released by his campaign.
If the state party decides against Rawl, he could potentially take his case all the way to the state Supreme Court. Greene could also file a formal protest of his own if the state party decides to alter the primary results.
- CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this story