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Wise will not seek reelection as county council chair

Posted: February 6, 2014 5:07 p.m.
Updated: February 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council Chairman Gene Wise announced his decision Wednesday not to seek reelection as council chairman. Wise cited personal reasons for his decision and said a major factor is his plan to also retire from his position as director of the Target Distribution Center in Lugoff. He has been with Target more than 45 years.

“I’m going to retire from Target on October 1 and I am also stepping down as chairman of (the) South Carolina Retailers Association,” he said. “At my age, I want to spend more time with my family.”

Wise said he intends to stay in Kershaw County after he retires.

“I have no plans to leave the area. I like South Carolina and I hope to continue to contribute to Kershaw County. My passion is economic development so I hope to pursue it,” he said.

Wise said he is proud of the accomplishments council has achieved in recent years.

“One thing is there is now more openness on the council. We used to have meetings where issues were discussed that didn’t see the light of day. We see a much more open and transparent county council now. The public can see how their councilmen feel about things,” Wise said. “I encourage open discussions, but I’ve tried to keep it civil. People still get passionate about things and that’s good. It’s not good for everyone to always agree on everything. That leads to complacency.”

He also said hiring County Administrator Vic Carpenter was a positive step.

“It turned out to be very beneficial. The county administrator runs all of the various departments. I’m very proud of bringing Vic in,” he said. “It was a thrill for me to serve the people of Kershaw County. It was a goal for me to be sure the county was run well. I wanted to see good government. I hope good candidates will step forward, not just for my position but for all of them.”

Carpenter said it has been a pleasure to work with Wise and he’s happy to have the rest of the year with the chairman.

“It’s a real privilege as an administrator to work with someone of Gene’s caliber and experience. He always strives to make things better,” he said. “I look forward to working with him for the rest of the year to see his vision through.” 

Wise’s personal achievements include being named Camden Rotary Club 2005 Business Person of the Year and the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce 2006-2007 Business Person of the Year. He received the Governors’ Award, 2008 South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development and was named the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business Person of the Year. His company honored him with the 2009 Target Corporation Values Award for Community Leadership.

Wise’s term continues to the end of this year, but said he made his announcement now so interested candidates have time to make a decision regarding their own intentions to run. The dates to file for office are March 16-30.

For more information about this year’s election, contact the Kershaw County Voter Registration Office at 424-4016.

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