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Gardner joins KCC; Smoak reelected

Posted: November 4, 2010 5:06 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Along with Gene Wise, who was elected Tuesday as Kershaw County Council chairman, another new face will be seen on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Kershaw County Government Center.

Republican Tom Gardner soundly defeated his opponent, David Branham, for the District 6 seat by taking 60 percent of the vote.Gardner collected 2,068 votes to Branham’s 1,402.

 “We put in a lot of hard work, especially these last two weeks,” said Gardner. “It’s a relief to be done.”

Gardner said his first term will be devoted largely to economic development.

“We need to help any business that wants to come in, whether it’s a Mom-and-Pop shop that employs four or five people, or large industry that employs a couple of hundred people. We need to broaden our tax base … that’s going to be the most important thing to get out of this economic situation,” said Gardner, who had kind words for his opponent.

“David’s a very good guy. I think the people of District 6 would’ve been represented well by either one of us,” said Gardner. “I am pleased it’s over.”

Incumbent Councilman Stephen Smoak’s District 5 contest was closer, but Smoak edged out his Republican challenger, Eric Boland, by taking 52 percent of the vote. Smoak garnered 1,968 votes; Boland picked up 1,786.

“I’m honored to have the support of people in District 5,” said Smoak. “We’re going to have to focus on keeping the county on track financially, and keeping up with the recreation needs.”

Smoak said he was disappointed with the failure of the capital projects sales tax, which failed with 55 percent opposed.

Overall turnout for the county’s 36,646 voters came in at 63 percent.

Democrat Robin Watkins held onto her position as county auditor with 11,854 votes, beating Chris Oviatt, who heads the Kershaw County GOP. Oviatt earned 9,589 votes.

Democrat Harriet Pierce, with 11,515 votes, will remain in her post as probate judge, defeating outgoing Camden City Councilman Ned Towell, who received 10,278.

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