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Bozard vs. Gary for District 1 special election

Posted: February 11, 2016 5:16 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2016 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Bobby Gary ... won the Democratic primary

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Republican Al Bozard will face Democrat Bobby Gary for the Kershaw County Council District 1 special election slated for March 29. The two men won their respective primaries Tuesday. Former Councilman Willie Mickle vacated the District 1 seat at the end of November 2015 citing personal insurance issues involving Medicare versus state-issued insurance as an elected official.

Gary held the District 1 seat for one term immediately prior to Mickle. Bozard has run for the seat before.

According to Kershaw County Voter Registration Director John Caughman, Gary won the Democratic primary over Art Graham, 307 (73.32 percent) to 111 (26.68 percent). Bozard won the Republican nomination, defeating George Harkins, 162 (51.43 percent) to 153 (48.57 percent). No runoffs are necessary, Caughman said.

“We do have four provisional votes to check on,” Caughman said Wednesday morning, but did not think they would impact the outcome of either primary.

One voter contacted the C-I on Wednesday stating they had been turned away from voting at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School (L-EMS) on Tuesday. The man said when he arrived and tried to enter the school to vote, an administrator turned him away despite Lugoff Precinct No. 2 voters having voted at L-EMS for many years. The man said three other people were turned away immediately after him. He said he later learned he was supposed to vote at the old L-EMS building, now used as Lugoff-Elgin High School’s 9th Grade Annex.

Thursday, Caughman said after voting staff learned of the problem, they went to L-EMS, talked to officials and put out additional signs to make sure voters knew where to go

Meanwhile, Caughman’s office is gearing up for South Carolina’s presidential preference primaries. The Republican primary is set for a week from Saturday on Feb. 20. The Democratic primary will follow a week later on Saturday, Feb. 27. Originally, as a cost-saving measure, most polling places were going to be combined. Caughman said the state freed up some extra money for the county and voters will be able to vote at their regular polling places for the presidential primaries with two exceptions on both dates:

• Charlotte Thompson -- will temporarily move to Camden City (Rhame) Arena, 517 Bull St. in Camden.

• Camden No. 5 -- will temporarily move to New Hope Baptist Church, 9105 Liberty Hill Road in Camden.

In addition, the voter registration office on Lafayette Avenue in Camden will be open during the presidential primaries for “barrier free” voting. Caughman said anyone with any questions or concerns should call his office at (803) 424-4016.

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