By Stan Welch
Despite a last minute write in effort which garnered eighteen per cent of the votes cast, Powdersville businessman Richard Cash was elected Tuesday to fill Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant’s District Three seat in the state Senate.
The result ended an unlikely run for the seat which saw Cash finish second to moderate candidate Carol Burdette in the April 11 Republican primary; a result from which he rebounded to win the runoff two weeks later.
He entered Tuesday’s election unopposed, but a late write in effort was launched by South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Trav Roberts. The effort, which included votes for several well known cartoon characters, totaled six hundred eleven votes. Approximately five percent of the seventy three thousand registered voters eligible actually voted.
Burdette, who lost a close race to Senator Bryant in the 2016 Republican primary, stated that she was not involved with the write in effort, despite the fact that the automated telephone sent out by Roberts mentioned both Burdette and her reputation as a moderate. Burdette stated that she voted for Cash Tuesday in keeping with her pledge to support the Republican candidate.
Bryant vacated the seat in January of this year when Lt. Governor McMaster replaced former Governor Nikki Haley, who accepted President Trump’s appointment as United States Ambassador to the U.N.
Candy Kern-Fuller, a local attorney who was closely associated with the legal actions between former county administrator Joey Preston and the county, as well as a minor player in the Ron Wilson Ponzi scheme several years ago, reportedly also sent out an e-mail urging voters to write in to defeat Cash, who she accused of threatening her at a women’s clinic more than two decades ago. Cash has denied the allegation, calling it a slanderous cheap shot. He is an ardent supporter of the right to life.
Cash will serve the remainder of Bryant’s original term, which ends in 2020.