Election Day Nov. 8
By Stan Welch – Less than a week remains before South Carolina and America goes to the polls. South Carolina will elect one U.S. Senator, as incumbent Republican Tim Scott faces an odd selection of opponents,with three men representing five different parties.
Thomas Dixon is listed as a member of both the Democrat and Green parties, while Bill Bledsoe represents both the Constitutional and Libertarian parties, while Rebel Michael Scarborough represents the American Party.
Incumbent Congressman Jeff Duncan faces opposition in the District 3 House race from Hosea Cleveland, a Democrat.
Closer to home, in the race for the state House of Representatives, District 9 incumbent Anne Thayer is seeking a fourth term. Her Democratic opponent, Mary Geren, is a first time candidate for public office.
She, unlike Thayer, supports an increase in the state gasoline tax, which was last increased almost thirty years ago.
Geren argues that the increase would free up other funds in the state budget; funds that could be used for school security in every school in the state, including elementary schools as well as for increasing teacher salaries and other education expenses.
Thayer supports the approach of greater efficiency and accountability in the SC department of Transportation, although she definitely agrees that school security is a critical concern.
Thayer was instrumental this year in passing legislation to increase educational assistance for dyslexic children. She also spearheaded key legislation making it easier to foster children who are removed from their homes for safety and welfare reasons.
Jay West won a primary runoff to claim the House seat vacated by Rep. Mike Gambrell, when he set his sights on the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Billy O’Dell’s untimely death.
In District 8, incumbent Jonathon Hill faces opposition from Democrat Barbara Jo Mullins.
Senator Kevin Bryant survived a primary battle to reclaim his seat with no further opposition, while Rep. Mike Gambrell survived a series of primaries, runoffs, and special elections to win the Senate Seat vacated by the death of Senator Billy O’Dell this year.
Representative Brian White faces no opposition to return to his seat, and the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Anderson County races are straightforward, with the office of Sheriff, Solicitor, Clerk of Court, County Auditor, County Treasurer, and County Coroner all settled, as the primary winners face no opposition.
Craig Wooten will claim the District 1 County Council seat, after his Democratic opponent, Liz Carey, moved outside the district bounds, and had to withdraw. In District 2, incumbent Gracie Floyd faces opposition from Republican Larry Bright, while Ray Graham defeated Mitchell Cole and Eddie Moore in the Republican primary to claim the District 3 seat.
In the District One School Board races, Brenda Ellison is unopposed in Area Six, Mike Wilson is unopposed in Area Two, while David “Moochie” Merritt is opposed by John C. Neel IV in Area Three.
Three Candidates are vying for the Brushy Creek Water Commission: Eric McConnell, Gary Nevil, and Scott Smart. J. Mark Bishop, William McAbee III, and Phil Tripp are vying for the Three & Twenty Commission.
There is also a question on the ballot concerning whether the terms of the County Council should be staggered. For a detailed explanation of the issue, see the related article in this issue of The Journal.