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Boan, Rushing head to June 26 runoff for sheriff nomination

Burns, Gardner hold on to council seats; Johnson out as solicitor

Posted: June 14, 2018 4:43 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2018 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photos/

Kershaw County Sheriff Republican candidates Lee Boan (left) and Jack Rushing will face each other again June 26 in a runoff for the party's nomination. The winner will go up against Democrat Anthony Bell in November.

Two Republican candidates for Kershaw County Sheriff -- Lee Boan and Jack Rushing -- will face each other in a June 26 runoff after neither man garnered more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary.

Of the 9,359 votes cast in that race, Boan lead the way by receiving 3,598, or 38.44 percent. Rushing received 2,928 votes, or 31.29 percent. Primary rules require a candidate to earn at least 50 percent of the vote (sometimes referred to as needing 50 percent plus 1 vote) to avoid a runoff.

Fellow Republicans Donald Branham and Eric Tisdale came in third and fourth, respectively. Branham came in with 19.83 percent of the vote (1,856), and Tisdale had 10.44 percent of the votes (977).

The winner of the Boan-Rushing runoff will face Democrat Anthony Bell in November.

June 26 will also be the date for a runoff between Republicans David Snodgrass and Brant Tomlinson for Kershaw County Council District 5, being vacated by Dennis Arledge, who won his race for Kershaw County Auditor.

Snodgrass received 693 of the total 2,079 votes cast in the race for 33.33 percent of the vote. Tomlinson received 609 votes, or 29.29 percent. Following behind in third and fourth places were Jimmy Crissman (20.59/428 votes) and Janice Caldwell (16.79 percent/349 votes).

Although there is no Democratic contender for District 5, the winner of the Snodgrass-Tomlinson runoff will still appear on the ballot in November in order to allow for petition or write-in candidates to be considered.

Arledge easily defeated fellow Republican Beverly Ray-Dowey for that party’s nomination for auditor. Arledge received 5,358 of the 8,855 votes cast, for 60.51 of the tally. Ray-Dowey received 3,497 votes, or 39.49 percent. Arledge’s name will also appear on the November ballot in the event other candidates enter the race, although there is no Democratic opposition.

Meanwhile, unless other names appear on the ballot in November, Julian Burns will retain chairmanship of Kershaw County Council. He earned the Republican nomination (with no Democratic challengers in November), defeating Roddy Blackwell. Burns received 5,140 of the 8,768 votes cast in this race, for 58.62 of the vote total. Blackwell received 3,628 votes, or 41.38 percent.

Unless other names appear on the ballot in November, Tom Gardner will retain his seat on council in District 6. Gardner received 972 of 1,715 votes cast (56.68 percent) for the Republican nomination with no Democratic contention. His opponent, Jim Steele, received 743 votes, or 43.32 percent.

The one non-primary election held Tuesday pitted Kershaw County Board of School Trustees Seat 2 incumbent Mark Sury against Stephen Wilson. Sury won 364 of the 709 votes cast for 51.34 percent of the total. Wilson received 345 votes, or 48.66 percent.

The evening’s biggest upset came in the race for the Democratic nomination for 5th Circuit Solicitor, who prosecutes cases in Kershaw and Richland counties. The turnout for this election in Kershaw County was low, with only 2,934 votes cast between incumbent Dan Johnson and challenger Byron Gipson. Adding in the much larger number of votes from Richland County, Gipson won the nomination by a nearly 3-1 margin.

Gipson received 30,835 of the 42,222 votes cast in the two counties for 73.03 percent of the vote. Johnson -- whose campaign has been marred with allegations that he misspent taxpayer dollars and accusations he sexually harassed former female employees -- only received 11,387 votes for 26.97 percent.

Gipson’s name will appear on the ballot in November as the Democratic nominee. There is no official Republican opposition. However, former Deputy Solicitor John Meadors, who worked in that office for more than 20 years and whose wife, Patricia, is a Camden native, launched a petition campaign earlier this year.

Meadors must gain 10,000 signatures by July 16 to be placed on the November ballot. He and his team spent much of Tuesday asking for signatures at polling places across both counties.

“We had a great day yesterday,” Meadors said of collecting signatures at polls in both counties. “I feel confident that I’ve gotten about three-quarters of what I need, about 7,500.”

Meadors said he is unsure yet how the S.C. Election Commission will list him as a candidate in November should he reach the 10,000 signature requirement. He said he may be listed as a petition candidate or as an independent.

Meadors held a “meet and greet” on Broad Street on Thursday evening seeking yet more signatures.

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