Kershaw County voters will return to the polls for this year's Republican and Democratic primaries Tuesday. While every polling place will be open, the majority of precincts will only be open to those wishing to vote in the Republican primary for U.S. House of Representatives S.C. District 5. In addition, some voters will be eligible to cast ballots for Kershaw County Board of School Trustees Seat No. 5. Some residents will also be eligible to vote for one of two Republican candidates for Kershaw County Council District No. 3.
The Lee County Observer -- a Camden Media Co. newspaper -- and Bishopville radio station WAGS and the Lee County Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to sponsor a debate for the six candidates running for the S.C. House of Representatives District 50 seat. District 50 is comprised of all of Lee County, and parts of Kershaw and Sumter counties.
Brian Burke is a new face on the campaign trail this election year. The 27-year-old, who lives in lower Richland County's Mountainbrook subdivision, is trying to become the next representative for S.C. House District 80, which includes Elgin precincts numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5 and the Doby's Mill precinct.
Attorney Ben Connell has officially announced his decision to run for the Kershaw County Council District 3 seat. Current District 3 Councilman C.R. Miles Jr. recently announced he is not seeking reelection.
Ray Craig, of Lake Wylie, recently filed with the S.C. State Election Commission (SCEC) to run against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney for the state's 5th Congressional District, which includes Kershaw County. Accompanied by two of his three children and his former roommate from Clemson, Craig, a Republican, filed with the SCEC just before noon March 30.
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.
Today, voters in Kershaw County Council District 1 are choosing who they want to replace Willie Mickle, who resigned in November 2015 citing issues with state insurance benefits. Up for the seat are Republican Al Bozard and Democrat Bobby Gary, who won their respective primaries in February to face each other in today's special election. In the Feb. 9 primaries, Bozard defeated fellow Republican George Harkins while Gary -- who held the District 1 seat prior to Mickle -- defeated Democrat Art Graham.
After 27 years working in the Kershaw County Clerk of Court's Office, Janet Hasty says she's just "not ready" to retire. Hasty began working in the office under Tillie Goodson and then Joyce McDonald, who recently announced her decision not to seek reelection.
Former Bishopville mayor Tom Drayton recently announced his candidacy for S.C. House District 50, the seat currently held by S.C. Rep. Grady Brown. Brown recently announced he is not seeking reelection. District 50 includes portions of Kershaw County, including Bethune and the Antioch community.