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Wood enters House District 79 race

Posted: September 1, 2010 3:40 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 2010 5:00 a.m.
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Tood Wood has filed to be the new Democratic candidate for S.C. House District 79.

With Anton Gunn resigning his District 79 seat to accept a position as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the S.C. Democratic Party has been looking for a new candidate to face Republican Sheri Few in November. One candidate, Todd Wood of Kershaw County, has come forward.

Wood recently registered as a candidate for the SC House of Representatives for District 79.

According to a press release from his campaign, Wood was born and raised in Kershaw County. He is the son of Valeria J. Taylor and Mr. and Mrs. L.E. “Jack” Wood Sr. He received his primary education in the Kershaw County school district, graduating from Lugoff-Elgin High School. Upon graduation, he attended the University of South Carolina, obtaining a BA degree in English with a Cognate in Education. It was at USC that he met his wife, Nissary Fling Wood, who is a candidate for Seat No. 2 on the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees. They have been together for 22 years and have four children who attend Kershaw County public schools: Simone (16), Langston (12), Thai (11) and Très (9).

Wood is employed by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. During his 17-year tenure with the company, he has served in positions of increasing responsibility and is currently performing the role of Information Systems Senior Client Advocate.

Wood has always been very active in the community. He is the past president of the Blaney Elementary and Doby’s Mill Elementary school improvement councils (SIC). He is also the past president of the University of South Carolina Black Alumni Council and has served on the Kershaw County United Way Board of Directors. He has coached basketball for the Richland County Recreation Department and soccer for the Kershaw County Recreation Department. Wood is a current member of the Stover Middle School SIC, serves as president of the Lugoff-Elgin High SIC and is a member of the Lugoff-Elgin Academic Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, Wood has volunteered for the American Heart Association, YWCA, Salvation Army, National Youth Sports Program and Ben Arnold Boy’s Club. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Wood said once he is elected, he will focus his efforts to ensure that public schools are equitably funded, providing all children the access to a good education. In addition, Wood said he will focus on economic development for the district by working directly with government and business leaders to entice new businesses to the area. Finally, Wood said he believes "we need to change the way the government and people interact." He said he also believes that the responsibility of the people goes beyond voting and the responsibility of elected officials goes beyond getting elected.

Wood said he wants to be the voice of his district and promote increased civic engagement among his constituents.

Gunn's resignation and withdrawal from the race set up a special process for Democrats to nominate and possibly elect a new candidate. S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said filing opened at noon Tuedsay.

"And it will stay open until next Tuesday at noon," Whitmire said. "If there's only the one candidate, then that's the nominee. If there's more than one, then there'll be a primary Sept. 21."

Keiana Page with the S.C. Democratic Party said no other candidates had filed for the Democratic nomination as of Wednesday.

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