Category Archives: Government & Politics

County Elections open Saturday for Absentee Voting

For Presidential Primaries

The Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Anderson County will be open additional hours this Saturday, February 6 from 9 a.m. until noon. Anderson County Registered voters, who qualify, and need to cast an absentee ballot for the Presidential Preference Primaries may do so during that time. “We will be open these additional hours and ready to serve voters that may need to cast an absentee ballot,” said Katy Smith, Director. “We felt this would be beneficial to the voters.” Voters should be aware and understand that absentee voting is not early voting.

Burgess, Gambrell, announce for Senate Seat

State Representative Mike Gambrell and Williamston Town Councilman Rockey Burgess have both announced their intentions to run for the seat recently vacated by the passing of long time state Senator Billy O’Dell.

Gambrell has served House District 7 since 2006. The proposed gas tax and problems in SCDOT are two items on his agenda. Local businessman and current Williamston Council Member, Rockey Burgess also announced his candidacy for the S.C. Senate 4th District seat last week.

Gambrell announces for Senate District 4

By Stan Welch

State Representative Mike Gambrell, who has served House District 7 since 2006, has announced his bid to fill the seat recently vacated by the passing of long time state Senator Billy O’Dell. Gambrell’s announcement made clear the close personal and political relationship he shared with Senator O’Dell, who served Senate District 4 for more than a quarter century. “Senator O’Dell was not only a mentor to me since my first day in the General Assembly, he was my friend. He was a champion for our area and an advocate for his constituents.”

Burgess announces for Senate District 4 seat

By David Meade

Local businessman and current Williamston Council Member, Rockey Burgess formally announced his candidacy for the S.C. Senate 4th District seat. Burgess spoke to a group of about 20 people gathered to hear his announcement at the Williamston Municipal Center last Friday. Burgess laid out a simple platform based on tax relief, improving infrastructure and his experience in local government.

“I believe the best government is that which governs least,” Burgess said. “The citizens of this state demand that their government be held accountable to the citizens that it represents, to have open and transparent discussion about the issues that affect their lives, and to operate within the confines of a balanced budget that serves the needs of the citizenry while not overbudening the taxpayer.”

Absentee voting underway

Anderson County Registered voters, who qualify, and need to cast an absentee ballot for the Republican or Democratic Presidential Preference Primary Elections may do so during the hours of 8:30 until 5:00 p.m. weekdays. “We have completed all of our testing and preparation for the Absentee Precinct here at our office. We are ready to serve voters that may need to cast an absentee ballot,” said Katy Smith, Director.

Deadline to register to vote in Republican Primary is Jan. 20

The State Election Commission reminds everyone who would like to vote in the upcoming Presidential Preference Primaries (PPPs), of the voter registration deadlines and urge those already registered to update their information.

TO VOTE IN THE REPUBLICAN PPP, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY JANUARY 20.

TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PPP, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY JANUARY 27.  

Also:

· If you have moved, make sure you are ready to vote by updating your registration.

· If you have moved from one county to another, you must register in your new county by the deadline to be eligible to vote.

Burgess announces for Senate District 4 seat

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Local businessman and current Williamston Council Member, Rockey Burgess has formally announced his candidacy for the S.C. Senate 4th District seat. Burgess spoke to a group of about 20 people gathered to hear his announcement at the Williamston Municipal Center Friday.

“I believe the best government is that which governs least,” Burgess said. “The citizens of this state demand that their government be held accountable to the citizens that it represents, to have open and transparent dicussion about the issues that affect their lives, and to operate within the confines of a balanced budget that serves the needs of the citizenry while not overburdening the taxpayer.”

Burgess intends to seek Senate seat

RockeyBurgessOfficial announcement this Friday

On Friday, Jan. 15, with family, friends and supporters at his side, local businessman and current Williamston Council Member, Rockey Burgess, will formally announce his candidacy for S.C. Senate 4th District. The public announcement will be held in front of Williamston Town Hall Friday at 2 P.M.

Several potential candidates have expressed intentions of possibly running for the seat. Burgess is the first to say he definitely intends to announce as a candidate.

Local officials react to passing of Senator Billy O’Dell

rsz_1dsc_1977By Stan Welch

Senator William Hamilton “Billy” O’Dell passed away last Thursday morning, ending a career in public service that spanned more than a quarter century. Senator O’Dell represented Anderson, Abbeville and Greenwood counties in Senate District Four.

The announcement of his passing came during a meeting of members of the legislative delegation and a number of public officials and administrators, who were meeting to discuss the upcoming state budget.

At age seventy seven, O’Dell was one of the senior legislators in the General Assembly, and he used his seniority, as well as his reputation for integrity and cooperation to generate funding for miles and miles of water and sewer lines in the mostly rural area he served.

Local officials gather to hear about state budget process

By Stan Welch

An array of public officials, elected and otherwise, gathered at the Anderson Civic Center last Thursday to gain a better understanding of the budget process followed by the General Assembly, as well as to offer input about their various budget needs.

Rep. Mike Gambrell, chairman of the county’s legislative delegation,made the distinction clear. “We don’t want to hear about your wants. We just want to hear about your needs. We will be doing all we can to help you with the needs.” Brian White, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, a crucial player in the budget process, began the presentation.

Senator Billy O’Dell dies

rsz_1dsc_1977The Journal has just been notified this morning that Senator Billy O’Dell has passed away. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

O’Dell was elected to represent Senate District 4 in 1989 and has been instrumental on the state and local level and especially in representing the Williamston, Pelzer and Piedmont area. Senate District 4 includes portions of Abbeville, Anderson and Greenwood Counties.

O’Dell was recently named the SC Association of Regional Councils (SCARG) Legislator of the Year, receiving the award at the SCARC Annual Training Conference at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach in November.

He was a Citadel graduate and was also the SCARC Legislator of the Year in 2008. He has received many awards and honors during his service:

Putnam proposes bill for online database

For sororities and fraternities

Rep. Joshua Putnam, of Piedmont, is proposing legislation to create an online database that would include investigations and violations linked to fraternities, sororities and other social organizations at state colleges and universities in the state. The proposal is in response to the death of Tucker Hipps, the Clemson University student who died during a fraternity pledge run in Sept. 2014. Putnam put the proposal in a bill after meeting with Hipps’ parents.

Putnam said his legislation is meant to improve safety for college students by providing a tool for students and parents to make wise decisions. As part of the bill, parents and students would be made aware of the online database before students begin the process of joining a fraternity or sorority.

Fiorina shares vision for nation with Anderson crowd

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Republican Presidential Candidate

By Stan Welch

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was in Anderson Monday evening, sharing both her remarkable personal story, as well as her vision for America with a crowd of several hundred at the Convention Center. Representative Anne Thayer and Kevin Bryant combined to introduce her. Following a raucous and well organized entrance, highlighted by her reference to her Clemson orange dress (it was close), she wasted little time beginning her tale of hard work and remarkable good fortune. Clearly, she considers those two narratives inseparable.

West Pelzer election to decide mayor

West Pelzer voters will choose between Blake Sanders and Jimmy Jeanes when they vote Tuesday (Nov. 3)on who will get the mayor’s seat, which current Mayor Peggy Paxton chose not to seek again.

Jeanes will retain his Council seat if his mayoral run is unsuccessful, while Sanders will be out of office. However, if Jeanes is successful, a special election will have to be held to fill his Council seat.

Meet the Pelzer Candidates . . .

By David Meade

All but two of the eleven candidates running for Pelzer Town Council spoke at the candidate meet and greet forum held last Thursday at the Pelzer Community Building. Approximately 30 people attended the event to hear what the candidates had to say and to ask questions. Town Clerk Heather Holcombe moderated the forum and had candidates draw numbers from a glass jar that would determine the order they would address the crowd:

Jimmy Harrison

Harrison said he was honored to stand as a candidate for town council in front of a group of Pelzer people. Harrison said he has served as a volunteer with the fire department and 12 years as a volunteer with the Pelzer Rescue Squad when it was all volunteer.

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