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Posted: January 7, 2014 2:35 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2014 5:00 a.m.

As of today, three public officials have decided not to seek reelection. Several days ago, Kershaw County Councilman Stephen Smoak said he would not run again. Today, Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers and Kershaw County Probate Judge Harriett Pierce announce they are not running for reelection, either.

When he steps down in November, Smoak will have been a councilman for eight years. Fellers, who has been coroner for more than 20 years, also served for eight years as a deputy coroner. Pierce has been probate judge for 36 years. Collectively, that is equivalent to 72 years of public service from three officials we believe have done an excellent job of working for and representing the people of Kershaw County.

While term limits are something we wish to see more of -- even if self-imposed -- there is something to be said for experience. Statutorily, anyone can be a council member, coroner or probate judge although there is at least some training and, in some cases, other requirements for each. That doesn’t mean, however, that just anyone is suited to handle any of these duties, or those of any other elected office. Not to mention there are simply some jobs where experience and wisdom are to be treasured.

It will, therefore, be interesting to see who else decides not to run for reelection and who decides to run in the hopes of filling those vacancies. “New blood” is often the call in cases like these; indeed, Smoak, Fellers and Pierce all said now is the time for “someone else” to take the reins. We will miss their collective experience but also look forward to an exciting election season and the, hopefully, positive energy it may bring.


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