Incumbents remain in office


Scott, Duncan, Thayer

By Stan Welch

On the state and local level, there were few, if any surprises, in Tuesday’s elections. That was in part because so many candidates, especially at the county level, were unopposed incumbents. There were, however, a scattering of write-in votes in almost every single race. The numbers were insignificant, but the spread of the write-ins was unusual.

In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Tim Scott won in a runaway, gathering almost seventy four per cent of the vote against three opponents. In a rather odd circumstance, two of his opponents, Thomas Dixon and Bill Bledsoe, appeared on the ballot under the banner of more than one political party.

A total of 78,233 votes were cast for Scott in Anderson County, which set a new record for voter turnout with 81,024 votes cast. That represents 65.2% of the registered voters in the county.

Jeff Duncan also scored an impressive victory to retain his House seat from District Three, by tallying 58,092 votes to his opponent, Hosea Cleveland’s18,786.

On the state level, Senators Kevin Bryant and Mike Gambrell ran unopposed, with each notching almost one hundred per cent of the votes, save for a triple digit write-in votes for others.

State Representative Brian White, District 6, won 99% of the vote without opposition. A hundred forty write-ins were counted. In District 7, newcomer Jay West, seeking the seat vacated by now Senator Gambrell earlier this year, won handily, without opposition. He got 99.3% of the vote.

Incumbent Jonathon Hill handily won re-election, defeating Democrat Barbara Jo Mullis with 68.3 % (10,745 – 4968) of the vote.

District 9 incumbent Anne Thayer defeated Democrat and political newcomer Mary Geren by totaling 67.8% (10,058 – 4745)of the vote. Joshua Putnam, from District 10, handily defeated Democrat Ann Brown, with 82% of the vote (11,061 – 2324).

The offices of Clerk of Court (Richard Shirley), Coroner (Greg Shore), Auditor (Jacky Hunter) and Treasurer (Jason Phillips) were all unopposed in the general election. So was Chad McBride for the sheriff’s job.

The District One County Council seat vacated when incumbent County Councilman Francis’ Crowder declined another run for office, was captured by Republican Craig Wooten. Oddly, his Democratic opponent, Liz Carey, drew 28.5% of the vote, despite withdrawing at the last moment, due to a relocation outside the district.

Long time incumbent Gracie Floyd handily won the District Two seat, defeating Larry Bright by 67.5% to 32.4% (4801 – 2305).

In County Council District Three, newcomer Ray Graham won the seat in the June primary, but still tallied 8795 votes in the general election.

In Districts Four, Five, Six and Seven, the incumbents were unopposed in the general election. They are, respectively, Tom Allen (11,357), Tommy Dunn (9071), Ken Waters (11,841) and Cindy Wilson (9,483).

In the School District One races, Mike Wilson , Area 2, won unopposed (13,439), while Brenda Ellison ran unopposed for the Area 6 seat (13,479).

Incumbent Moochie Merritt barely retained his Area 3 seat, defeating John C. Neel IV by a count of 6985 to 6892.

Al Rentz won the vacant seat on the Big Creek Watershed Board from District 4. He was unopposed. In the District 7 race for two seats on that board, Eric McConnell (2417) and Scott Smart (1602) won.

Incumbents Lib Pack (202) and Rudy Rhodes (212) won their seats on the Piedmont Public Service Commission. They were unopposed.

A proposed ordinance to stagger the terms of the Anderson County Council from two years to four years was easily defeated.

In Anderson County, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race, by a count of 56,109 to 21,040.