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Political races set for local offices

Posted: March 31, 2016 4:31 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Filing for this year’s primaries and general election closed Wednesday at noon, setting up the races for most of the political field. The one exception is Camden City Council, for which candidate filing does not officially open until July 1. So far, current councilwomen Alfred Mae Drakeford and Laurie Parks have announced they are running for the mayor’s seat being vacated by Tony Scully. Drakeford and Parks are, effectively, giving up their seats on council to run for mayor. No one has yet announced their intention to run for the two city council seats.

Over on Kershaw County Council, Democrat Bobby Gary, who -- according to results validated on Thursday -- won the special election for the District 1 seat, and his opponent, Republican Al Bozard, will face each other again on Nov. 8 in the general election for a regular four-year term.

Incumbent District 2 Councilman Sammie Tucker Jr., a Democrat, will face opposition from Republican Gene Hartis in November.

The District 3 seat, however, will be decided in a June 14 primary when Republican candidates Melissa Brazell-Emmons, the current mayor of Elgin, and Ben Connell face each other. No Democrats filed for the seat, meaning whoever wins the primary will effectively win the seat.

Janet C. Hasty, a Republican, will, for all intents and purposes, automatically become the next Kershaw County Clerk of Court as no one else has filed to run for the office.

There will be at least one new face on the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees, as it holds its general election during the June 14 primaries. Todd McDonald, of Lugoff, is running unopposed for Seat 1, currently held by Mara Jones, who apparently did not file for reelection.

Also, James P. smith, of Camden, is running against incumbent Louis Clyburn Jr. for school board Seat 5. Running unopposed are incumbent trustees Derrick Proctor (Seat 3), Matt Irick (Seat 7) and current Chairman Ron Blackmon (Seat 9).

In state elections of local interest, a number of candidates are vying for election or reelection to S.C. House or Senate seats.

Running unopposed for reelection are State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (District 27) and State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk (District 52), both Democrats. Also running unopposed for seats in districts which reach into Kershaw County are State Sen. Thomas McElveen (District 35, Democrat) and State Rep. and current Speaker of the House Jay Lucas (District 65, Republican).

Vying for S.C. Senate District 22 are incumbent Democrat Mia McLeod and Republican challenger Susan Brill.

Two House seats representing portions of Kershaw County will be decided during the June 14 primaries, as there are no challengers from opposing parties.

Six Democratic candidates are running for the S.C. House District 50 seat being vacated by Grady Brown: Brian Alston and Crystal K. Cunningham, both of Rembert; and Tom Drayton, Keith Johnson, Demoine Kinney and Will Wheeler, all of Bishopville. There are no Republican candidates.

There are also no Republican candidates for S.C. House District 80, currently held by incumbent Jimmy Bales, of Eastover, who is running for reelection. He faces challenges from Brian Burke of Columbia, and Lawrence Moore of Hopkins.

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