Category Archives: Government & Politics

Voters choose Wagner as solicitor

Runoff election results

By Stan Welch

Incumbency and experience offered absolutely no protection whatsoever during Tuesday’s runoff elections, as virtually every incumbent was unseated.

Perhaps the greatest upset was Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis’ close loss to former deputy Will Lewis. The margin of victory was just 362 votes out of almost twenty nine thousand cast. The upset continues the shakeup in law enforcement which began with Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper’s resounding loss in the first primary.

Three incumbent state Senators from the Upstate were also defeated, including District Two’s Larry Martin, who was defeated by Rex Rice; District Six’s Mike Fair, who lost to William Timmons; and District Twelve, where Lee Bright was defeated by Scott Talley.

Solicitor runoff election today

Voters are reminded to go back to the polls today to decide who they would like to sesrved as the Tenth Circuit Court Solicitor for Anderson and Oconee Counties. David Wagner and Rame Campbell are the choices in the runoff election being held today (Tuesday, June 28).

Solicitor race to be decided in runoff Tuesday

By Stan Welch

David Wagner and Rame Campbell, both veterans of the Chrissy Adams administration of the Tenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, will face off in the runoff election on June 28.

Wagner, who was originally hired by former Solicitor George Ducworth, has twenty five years experience, while Campbell, also currently serving as a deputy solicitor has less experience. Wagner, described by Campbell as more of an administrator, touts his record as an active prosecutor who has taken more criminals to court than anyone else in the circuit.

Campbell is the deputy solicitor in Anderson County while Wagner is headquartered in the Oconee office,. Both men and their families call Anderson County home.

Absentee voting underway for runoff election

In-person absentee voting for the runoff election next Tuesday, June 28 is now underway.

Registered voters in Anderson County, who qualify, and need to cast an absentee ballot for Republican Runoff for Solicitor, House District 7 and County Council District 3, can do so weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. until the day before the election.

“In-person absentee voting for the Republican Runoff is open to any voters that voted in the Republican Primary or did not vote at all.” said Katy Smith, Director.

McBride wins sheriff race, solicitor to be decided in run off

By Stan Welch

Surprises and runoffs were the themes of the evening as the primary election returns came in at the Anderson Civic Center Tuesday night. Perhaps foremost among those surprises was the lopsided victory achieved by Chad McBride in the sheriff’s race.

Despite a three man field, McBride easily avoided a runoff, notching better than fifty eight per cent of the vote, and handily defeating incumbent John Skipper, who tallied a little over twenty five per cent.

Jeremy Pickens, Anderson County’s first black candidate for sheriff, polled just over sixteen per cent, but had a remarkable impact on the elections nevertheless. Because South Carolina has open primaries, allowing voters to vote in whichever primary, Republican or Democrat, that they choose, many traditional Democrats crossed over to support Pickens; leaving less than five hundred voters to cast ballots in the District Three County Council race, which Democrat incumbent Gracie Floyd won handily.

McBride takes sheriff’s race in Anderson County

Unofficial election results for show Chad McBride received 58.21 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent John Skipper and challenger Jeremy Pickens in the Andersn County Sheriff’s race. David Wagner and Rame Campbell were the top two vote getters in the Circuit 10 Solicitor race and will face off in a runoff in two weeks.

On other races Mike Gambrell held of challenger Rockey Burgess again with 61.28 percent of the vote to 38.72 for Burgess for the Senate District 4 seat.

Jay West and Blake Parker will vie for the House District 7 seat in a runoff in two weeks. Johathon Hill receive 51.34 percent of the fotes to defeat Don Bowen and Albert Howard for the House District 8 seat.

In Anderson County Council races, Ray Graham and Eddie Moore will be in a runoff for the County Council District 3 seat. Incumbent Gracie Floyd easily retained her Anderson County Council District 2 seat with 89.32 percent of the votes.

Primary voting

Primary vote  Williams 3res

Andi Williams signs in to vote Tuesday at the Piercetown Precinct. With her are her daughters Addison, 18 months old, Livi and Miriam Williams and friend Riley Burroughs.

Sheriff, Solicitor and Senate races will be decided in primary vote Tuesday

By Stan Welch

The primary season will come to an end next Tuesday, June 14 as a plethora of local and state seats will be contested. Mike Gambrell, who was recently elected to the Senate District 4 seat, is currently serving the remaining term resulting from the untimely death of State Senator Billy O’Dell in January. He is being challenged for the seat again by Williamston Councilman Rockey Burgess. Voters will have the choice of both in the primary vote Tuesday. The winner of the primary will be unopposed in the November general election.

Senator Kevin Bryant will face former Pendleton Mayor Carole Burdette in the Republican primary. No Democrat has signed up to challenge the Republican winner in November. In the District Six House race, Chairman of the Ways and Means committee Brian White is running unopposed.

Most County precincts have only one primary June 14

Voters will be surprised to learn that some precincts will have only one primary on June 14 in Anderson County. “Seventeen of our precincts will have both a Democratic and Republican Primary, but the other 63 precincts will only have a Republican Primary,” said Katy Smith, Executive Director. “The primary elections are held for the parties to determine their candidates for the General Election in November, and the only contest that is on the Democratic Ballot in June, that has opposition, is County Council District 2. Therefore, voters that want to vote in the Democratic Primary must live and be registered to vote in one of those 17 precincts and live within County Council District 2.”

Solicitor candidates debate at White Plains

By Stan Welch

The three candidates for Solicitor of the Tenth Judicial Circuit met at the White Plains Community Building Thursday evening for a debate. While the crowd was considerably smaller than the one that attended the Sheriff’s debate last month, the debate was just as lively as the earlier one.

Wilson Burr, who resigned as chief public defender to run for the office, wasted little time in firing a salvo at the other two candidates, Rame Campbell and David Wagner, both of whom  serve as deputy solicitors under Chrissy Adams. Burr drew that distinction clearly, as he persistently raised issues that he has with the current administration.

White Plains to host forum for solicitor candidates

A political forum will be held this Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m. at the White Plains Community Building for candidates running for the office of 10th Circuit Solicitor for Anderson and Oconee Counties. Anyone interested in hearing what the candidates have to say is invited to attend. Current 10th Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams’ decision earlier this year to vacate the office resulted in a field of three Republican candidates including W. Wilson Burr, Rame Campbell, and David Wagner. No Democrats filed for the office.

Gambrell elected Senator

Senate District Four Special Election

Turnout was very low for the Senate District Four Special Election held Tuesday, however Republican Primary winner Mike Gambrell had no trouble getting the votes needed to secure his position as the the winner.

In Anderson County, of 48,208 registered voters, only 1,082 turned out to vote in the special election. In Greenwood County of a total of 7,825 registered voters, only 234 voted. Gambrell’s name was the only one appearing on the ballot however there was the option of voting for a write-in candidate.

In Anderson County 99 votes were cast for a write-in candidate. Gambrell received 959 votes. In Greenwood County, 8 votes were cast for a write-in candidate.

Gambrell will serve the final months of Sen. Billy O’Dell’s term, but will still have to participate in the June primary and the November general election to be elected to serve the full term beginning in January.

Don’t forget to vote in special election Tuesday

For Senate District Four Seat

Voters will go back to the polls on Tuesday, May 17 for the special election for the Senate District 4 seat. Mike Gambrell will likely be the person to fill the seat since no Democratic candidates filed to run in the special election. Write-in candidates, however, will still have an opportunity to seek the office in the special election and the polls will be open for voters to make the final vote.

The winner of the special election on Tuesday will serve the final months of Sen. Billy O’Dell’s term, but will still have to participate in the June primary and the November general election to be elected to serve the full term beginning in January.

Road, bridge maintenance not a priority for SCDOT

Audit shows

By Stan Welch – The picture of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) painted by the executive summary of a recent state ordered audit of that organization is one of politics over policy, and a general lack of organization. The results leave the public perception of the department as being poised somewhere between gross mismanagement and outright corruption.

One of the biggest problems the department has is its proclivity for projects that add new roads, or expand existing ones, as opposed to programs designed to maintain the state’s bridges and roads.

Back to the polls Tuesday for Senate District 4 Election

Voters will go back to the polls ton Tuesday, May 17 for a final vote of the special election for the Senate District 4 seat. Mike Gambrell defeated Rockey Burgess in the Republican Primary runoff held recently and Gambrell will likely be the person to fill the seat since no Democratic candidates filed to run in the special election May 17. Write-in candidates, however, will still have an opportunity to seek the office in the special election and the polls will be open for voters.

The winner of the special election on Tuesday will serve the final months of Sen. Billy O’Dell’s term, but will still have to participate in the June primary and the November general election to be elected to serve the full term beginning in January. Burgess has already signed up to oppose Gambrell in that primary.

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