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Election 2012

Voters have a lot of choices to make

Posted: November 1, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Updated: November 2, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Depending on where they cast their ballot, Kershaw County voters could have a lot of important choices to make Tuesday. From Camden City Council to President of the United States, from Elgin to Bethune and Liberty Hill to Boykin, here’s a look at who’s running for which office. Information about each candidate is taken from either previous articles in the Chronicle-Independent, their campaign websites or other election-related websites. Candidates for each office are listed in alphabetical order.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday (see sidebar for precinct information). The C-I will provide both print and online election coverage. Tuesday night, check the C-I’s website and Facebook page for alerts on winning candidates and the outcome of the ballot questions, including vote totals.

Wednesday, the C-I will have a look at how voting went around the county. Due to print deadlines, full precinct by precinct results will not be published until Friday.

City of Camden

There are three items voting residents inside the city of Camden will be deciding this year: the mayor’s seat on Camden City Council, two open seats on council and whether or not the city should continue efforts to build a sports complex.

Mayor

Jeffrey Graham (incumbent) -- Graham is running for a second term as Camden’s mayor after having been elected as the state’s youngest sitting mayor in 2008. When he announced his intent to run for reelection, he said his top priorities were to continue assisting city council and administrators to ensure the city’s financial health and long-term fiscal stability are secure and improving tourism to the city. A Camden native, Graham attended Presbyterian College, graduating in 2004, returned to Camden to join his family’s real estate company and has served on the board’s several community groups. He and his wife, Sara, are the parents of a son, Edwards, and daughter, Bailey Elizabeth.

Tony Scully -- Scully announced his candidacy for mayor in July, promising to “usher in a new era of working together with county government to reduce costs and deliver more efficient use of city tax revenue.” He is a native of Washington, D.C., and a Boston College graduate, and has worked with several organizations in Camden and Kershaw County. Scully also graduated from the Yale School of Drama, wrote for Broadway and off-Broadway productions and wrote television scripts in Los Angeles. He is married to theater and film actress Joy Claussen Scully.

Council seats

Johnny Deal -- Born and raised in Camden, Deal grew up on Lake Wateree and helped managed the family business, Deal’s Marina. He graduated from Winthrop University in 1984, then worked for First Palmetto Bank for 27 years. Deal says he is a believer in fiscal responsibility, increased tourism and responsible growth, and “wants to see his hometown prosper.” He has been a part of numerous community groups and organized the annexation of most of Sunnyhill into the city. Deal currently serves on the Camden Planning Commission and is a member of the Camden Community Concert Band. He and his wife, Annah, have two grown daughters, Emily and Margaret.  

Alfred Mae Drakeford (incumbent) -- Drakeford is seeking her third term on council, having first been elected in 2004. She says her main areas of focus continue to be infrastructure, economic development and recreation, as well as historic preservation. Educated in the county’s public schools, Drakeford received a cosmetologist degree in 1963 and a bachelor’s of science in business management from the University of South Carolina in 1984. She retired from DuPont after more than 33 years of service. Drakeford has worked with numerous community groups and earned a number of awards, including, in 2005, being named Humanitarian of the Year by the Kershaw County Human Relations Commission. She is married to Ernest Drakeford Jr.; they have one daughter, Kimberly, and a granddaughter, Sydney Elise.

Peggy Ogburn -- A resident since 1980, Ogburn said she plans to use her background as a community volunteer and organizer to establish mechanisms to encourage dialogue between city council and members of the public; incorporate low impact development design techniques into all development and construction plans; promote transitional housing programs to assist low-income residents in crisis; work with the Santee-Wateree Regional Transportation Authority to continue providing bus routes for residents without affordable transportation; and improve relations between city and county governments. A University of South Carolina graduate, Ogburn spent her career in public service, retiring after 26 years in federal government. She has been married to her husband, Fred, for 32 years; they have a son, Lee.

Laurie Parks -- When she announced her candidacy, Parks said her background in community involvement and experience with leadership organizations gives her an awareness of the problems and issues facing Camden. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Parks attended the University of Georgia before moving to Camden with her husband, Westley, in 1998. She currently serves as chair of the Camden Historic Landmarks Commission, received the William F. Nettles Award from the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce in 2007, and has been or is active with a number of community organizations. She and her husband have three children: a daughter, Caroline; daughter, Sarah; and son, Connor.

Sports Complex Ballot Question

City of Camden voters will see the following question on their ballots Tuesday: “Should the city of Camden continue with plans to construct a recreation facility and partner with a third party to administer the facility?”

A “Yes” vote means the voter wants the city to continue with the project. Voting “No” means the voter wants the city to stop the project. According to city attorneys, the referendum is legally non-binding. That means that even if a majority of city voters cast “No” votes, council could still move forward with its proposal. However, council members have indicated they will not move forward if the majority of eligible city residents vote “No.”

The referendum’s language does not ask voters to consider how the complex’s construction -- estimated at between $5 million and $6.2 million -- will be funded. The city has indicated it wants to use proceeds from the city’s 2 percent hospitality tax. Nor does the question specifically address what “third party” may manage the facility despite a memorandum of agreement signed by the city with the YMCA of Columbia.

“Yes” vote supporters say the sports complex is a needed addition to the city, a way of bringing sports tourism to Camden, helping to bolster downtown businesses as well as surrounding neighborhoods; is needed to replace aging Rhame Arena; provide wellness programs to citizens of all ages; and provide a safe haven for young children and teens.

“No” vote opponents have criticized the project for a number of reasons, including that the use of hospitality taxes is improper; that the complex would duplicate services offered by the Kershaw County Recreation Department and commercial health and fitness businesses; and that the city ignored petitions asking for a different ballot referendum which would have halted the construction and created a committee to study alternatives.

Kershaw County Council

Kershaw County Council has three open seats for the general election. The only contested seat will be District 1, which pits incumbent Bobby Gary against petition candidate Willie Mickle. Candidates in the other two districts are both incumbents and are both running unopposed. 

District 1 – Precincts: Liberty Hill, Lugoff No. 1-2, Rabon’s Crossroads, Riverdale, Salt Pond, Shaylor’s Hill, Springdale, and Westville.

Bobby Gary (D, incumbent) – A member of Kershaw County Council since 2006, Gary, has stated educational funding and economic development will be key issues for Kershaw County moving forward. Gary runs Vizion LLC, a small commercial and residential maintenance business. He is a graduate of Camden High School and Denmark Technical College. He also ran for Kershaw County Council Chairman in 2010, but lost to current Chairman Gene Wise.  

Willie Mickle – A retired educator, Mickle worked in the educational field for 35 years, including as principal at Lugoff-Elgin High School and director of operations for the Kershaw County School District. He has stated he remains active in educational and recreational activities in Kershaw County and has a “keen interest” in what happens in the community. Mickle intended to run as a Republican, but was ruled ineligible after failing to properly file a statement of economic interest form. Consequently, as with many candidates across the state, he will be forced to run as a non-party affiliated petition candidate for the seat.

District 2

Sammie Tucker Jr. (D, incumbent) -- unopposed

District 3

C.R. Miles (R, incumbent) -- unopposed

Kershaw County Board of School Trustees

The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees is a non-partisan elected board. The election was actually held June 12, the same time as the Republican and Democratic Party primaries, but unopposed winners are still legally required to be listed on the ballot. Neither of the District 5 candidates in the June election earned a clear majority. Consequently, they are facing each other in a runoff election Tuesday.

District 1

Mara Horton Jones (incumbent) -- unopposed

District 2

Derrick Proctor (incumbent, appointed in September to fill seat) -- unopposed

District 5

Louis Clyburn -- A lifelong resident of Kershaw County and a Camden High School graduate, Clyburn said he wants to work to put education and the Kershaw County School District back on the “front burner” in South Carolina by focusing on five top priorities: finances and protecting taxpayer interests, informing the community, communicating with teachers, collaborating with local industry, and monitoring and motivating student achievement. He earned a business degree from the University of South Carolina, served in the S.C. National Guard and is a former DuPont employee. Clyburn and his wife, Sharon, have had six children enrolled in the school district.

G. Kenneth Gary -- On his campaign website, Gary said he is running for school board in order “to organize our children’s future with an educational legacy.” After graduating from Camden High School, he received three college degrees, attending both S.C. State University and Midlands Technical College. Gary has been employed by a number of corporations. He is the son of Robert Gary and Mae Helen Robinson-Gary, and the father of one son, Kenneth Jemel Gary, of North, S.C.

District 7

Matt Irick (incumbent) -- unopposed

District 9

Ron Blackmon -- unopposed

Other local races

Kershaw County Clerk of Court

Joyce McDonald (R, incumbent) -- unopposed

Soil and Water Conservation District Commission

Sarah P. Williams -- unopposed

Little Lynches Creek Watershed District 20

Elizabeth Hunter

Leonard F. Simms

Ashli R. Young

Lugoff Fire District Commission

Scott Jacobs -- unopposed

S.C. House of Representatives

Kershaw County upped its number of State House representatives from three to four last year as a result of redistricting, but only one will face a challenger during the general election. In District 52, the lone seat anchored in Kershaw County, incumbent Laurie Slade Funderburk will go head-to-head with David Herndon. The other three representatives are running unopposed.    

District 50

Grady Brown (D, incumbent) – unopposed

District 52 -- Precincts: Airport, Camden No. 1-6, Cassatt, Charlotte Thompson,  E. Camden/Hermitage, Elgin No. 2, Liberty Hill, Lugoff No. 1-4, Malvern Hill, Rabon’s Crossroads, Riverdale, Salt Pond, Shaylor’s Hill, Springdale, Westville, and White’s Garden.

David Herndon (R) -- A former S.C. State House and Kershaw County School Board of Trustees candidate, Herndon says his primary goal is to restructure state government to make it more efficient, accountable and responsible to the needs of citizens. He also has said he supports term limits for elected officials. A local businessman, Herndon is a Gastonia, N.C., native who graduated with a business management degree from Anderson University in 1993. He and his wife, Cynthia, have three children, Zachary, Julianne and Seth.

Laurie Slade Funderburk (D, incumbent) -- Funderburk was first elected to the State House in 2004  after successfully running to fill the seat left by Vincent Sheheen when he won the late Donald Holland’s State Senate Seat. Funderburk says she wants to continue focusing on tax reform, education and jobs. Funderburk grew up and attended schools in Lugoff, is a 1997 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College and a 2001 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. In addition to maintaining a solo law practice, she and her husband, Bill, are the owners of Books and Broad, and live in Camden with their sons, Slade and Burch.

District 65

Jay Lucas (R, incumbent) -- unopposed

District 80

Jimmy Bales (D, incumbent) -- unopposed

S.C. Senate

Kershaw County’s Senate delegation has also seen changes as a result of redistricting. While Sen. Vincent Sheheen will continue to represent the majority of the county, his Democratic counterpart Joel Lourie will now represent only one precinct, Elgin 5. Precincts in Elgin and Lugoff have also now been incorporated into Senate District 35, currently represented by retiring Sen. Phil Leventis. Tony Barwick, a Republican, and Thomas McElveen, a Democrat, are vying to replace Leventis.

District 22

Joel Lourie (D, incumbent) -- unopposed

District 27

Vincent Sheheen (D, incumbent) -- unopposed

District 35 -- Doby’s Mill, Elgin No. 1-4, Lugoff No. 2-4

Tony Barwick (R) -- Raised in the town of Pinewood on a small family farm, Barwick graduated from Furman High School in 1980. He graduated cum laude from Clemson University in 1984 with a degree in poultry science and is now the president and CEO of Palmetto Pigeon Plant, a global producer of chickens, squab, and Cornish game hen. Barwick is also involved in commercial real estate development. He and his wife, Dale, have two teenage children, Will and Leah. Barwick says he is committed to economic development, state government reform, financially conservative policies and educational excellence.

Thomas McElveen (D) -- A native and lifelong resident of Sumter, McElveen is a partner and practicing attorney with the Bryan Law Firm. He graduated from Davidson College and received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. McElveen currently represents the Third Judicial Circuit in the House of Delegates of the South Carolina Bar Association. His campaign website indicates he is focused on job creation, the quality of education and tax reform. McElveen and his wife, Bronwyn, have two children, Joe and Kathy.

State Constitutional Amendment Question

The following question is being placed on the ballot for all South Carolina voters to consider:

“Beginning with the general election of 2018, must Section 8 of Article IV of the Constitution of this State be amended to provide that the Lieutenant Governor must be elected jointly with the Governor in a manner prescribed by law; and upon the joint election to add Section 37 to Article III of the Constitution of this State to provide that the Senate shall elect from among the members thereof a President to preside over the Senate and to perform other duties as provided by law; to delete Sections 9 and 10 of Article IV of the Constitution of this State containing inconsistent provisions providing that the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Senate, ex officio, and while presiding in the Senate, has no vote, unless the Senate is equally divided; to amend Section 11 to provide that the Governor shall fill a vacancy in the Office of Lieutenant Governor by appointing a successor with the advice and consent of the Senate; and to amend Section 12 of Article IV of the Constitution of this State to conform appropriate references?”

According to SCVotes.org, a “Yes” vote will require, from 2018 onward, that governor and lieutenant governor candidates run on the same ticket and be elected to office jointly. As a result, however, the lieutenant governor would no longer preside as President of the Senate. State senators would then elect their president from amongst themselves. A “No” vote would maintain the current method of electing the governor and lieutenant governor separately and continue to have the lieutenant governor serve as President of the Senate.

U.S. House of Representatives

District 5

Joyce Knott (D) -- Knott was born and grew in Spartanburg, and attended Spartanburg Technical School and York Technical School. She and her husband, Ron, have a son, Trey. The couple opened Target Sales & Marketing Inc. in 1980, and after merging with a similar company in Rock Hill in 1989, moved to Tega Cay. They now live in Rock Hill. She says her main issues are jobs, the economy, healthcare and women’s issues.

Mick Mulvaney (R, incumbent) -- Elected in 2010, Mulvaney says he is running for reelection “because his work is not done in Washington.” Mulvaney lives in Indian Land in Lancaster County and graduated from Charlotte Catholic High School. He attended Georgetown University, majoring in international economics, commerce and finance. Mulvaney earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then worked for a law firm until 1997 when he started his own firm. He was elected to the S.C. House in 2006 and then elected to the S.C. Senate two years later. He and his wife, Pam, are the parents of triplets -- two boys and one girl.

U.S. President and Vice President

Barack Obama and Joe Biden (D, incumbents)

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (R)

Gary Johnson and James P. Gray (Libertarian)

Virgil Goode and Jim Clymer (Constitution)

Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala (Green)

 

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