Lee Boan, currently serving as the Camden Police Department’s (CPD) captain of operations, will be Kershaw County’s new sheriff come January 2019.
Boan overwhelmingly defeated Democratic candidate Anthony S. Bell two-to-one, with 66.85 percent of the vote to Bell’s 32.96 percent. Fifteen thousand seven hundred twenty-four people voted for Boan compared to 7,754 people who voted for Bell.
Bell conceded the race to Boan in a phone call around 9:15 p.m, despite four precinct boxes still left to be counted at the Kershaw County Voter Registration Office. Boan took the call at the Kershaw County Recreation Department in Camden.
“This was a clean race by all the candidates. I am proud to have been part of a race with four people plus me. Hopefully, people saw that you can have a clean race in Kershaw County,” Boan said to a crowd of about 200 people, who broke into a long round of applause and cheers.
During an interview afterward, Boan said that he has known for years that he wanted to run for sheriff.
“This wasn’t some sudden thing for me,” he said. “I’ve lived here all my life and my entire career has been in public service. For me not to offer myself up for this would mean that I wasn’t much of a public servant.’’
Boan said that while he has changes in mind for the sheriff’s office, he has no intention of firing anyone on his first day.
“That’s not to say that I won’t cut some fat if I see things that need to be trimmed. The worst thing you can do is make changes just to make a change,” Boan said.
He said outgoing Sheriff Jim Matthews has been supportive.
“He’s already been reaching out and I expect this to be a smooth transition,” Boan said. “Everybody is already helping, setting me up for success.”
Boan said he still intends to “downsize” the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office’s (KSCO) traffic enforcement unit in order to increase the number of deputies on patrol shifts.
“That plan is already in place, and I still plan on bringing back funeral escorts in order to be there for people who are in need,” he said.
Going back to traffic enforcement and patrols, Boan said that with the shift for more deputies to patrol Kershaw County’s secondary and rural roads, the KCSO will take on an assistive role with the S.C. Highway Patrol.
“If the highway patrol needs us, we’ll help,” he said; as an example, Boan said if troopers are working a traffic fatality, road deputies may be shifted onto I-20 to patrol the interstate until those troopers can get back on the road.
In that vein, Boan did have one staffing announcement: CPD Sgt. Tyrrell “Rock” Coleman will be moving to the KCSO to -- at least as plans stand now -- become Boan’s new chief of patrol.
“He’s known me for a long time and he knows what I want out of the patrol unit,” Boan said.
While Boan had already said he has no plans to fire anyone on “Day One,” he admitted he would be shifting around people in current KCSO command positions.
Other local races
John Meadors lost his second bid to become solicitor for the 5th Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Kershaw and Richland counties. Meadors -- a petition candidate -- won in Kershaw County, with 9,914 votes (52.47 percent) versus Gipson’s 8,897 (47.09 percent), but lost the overall election to Democrat Byron Gipson. Between the two counties, Gipson won with 95,479 votes (71.94 percent) to Meadors’ 36,852 (27.77 percent).
Gipson will take over running the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office from interim Solicitor Heather Weiss. Gov. Henry McMaster appointed Weiss after a grand jury indicted former Solicitor Dan Johnson and his communications director, Nicole Holland, on 26 counts of wire and mail fraud. Holland recently pleaded to two of those counts; Johnson has yet to plea either guilty or innocent.
Meadors lost a bid to become 5th Circuit Solicitor to Johnson eight years ago following the retirement of former Solicitor Barney Giese.
Meanwhile, S.C. State House District 52 Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk retained her seat for a seventh term, Funderburk held off a somewhat surprisingly better effort than some had predicted for Gustafson. Funderburk received 9,007 votes, or 57.38 percent, compared to Gustafson’s 6,672 votes, or 42.5 percent.
All other local races on the ballot were made up of unopposed candidates: Democrat Will Wheeler (S.C. House District 50, incumbent), Republican Jay Lucas (S.C. House District 65, incumbent), Democrat Jimmy Bales (S.C. House District 80, incumbent), Probate Judge Debbie Branham (Republican, incumbent), Coroner David West (Republican, incumbent), Republican Dennis G. Arledge for auditor; Treasurer Jill Catoe (Republican, incumbent), County Council Chair Julian Burns (Republican, incumbent), County Council District 4 Jimmy Jones (Republican, incumbent), Republican David Snodgrass for County Council District 5, and County Council District 6 Tom Gardner (Republican, incumbent).
In addition, incumbent non-partisan school board members Mark Sury (District 2), Shirley Halley (District 4), Kimberly Horton Durant (District 6) and Dr. Donald Copley (District 8) all ran unopposed.
Also, unopposed incumbent Camden City Council members Deborah Davis and Jeffrey Graham retained their seats, with Graham earning 51.42 percent of the votes cast and Davis earning 47.22 percent.
State, congressional races
Incumbent Republican S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster won his first actual election to the office, garnering 900,090 votes (54.28 percent) over Democratic challenger James Smith’s 756,187 votes (45.6 percent). This was also the first year in which lieutenant governor candidates ran as a ticket with their parties’ gubernatorial candidates. As such, with McMaster’s win, running mate Pamela Evette will become South Carolina’s new lieutenant governor.
In Kershaw County, McMaster and Evette received 13,871 votes (59.12 percent) compared to James Smith and his running mate, Mandy Norrell’s 9,564 votes (40.76 percent).
Incumbent Republican S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond held off Democratic challenger Melvin T. Whittenburg with 965,016 votes (57.09 percent) to Whittenburg’s 724,238 votes (42.85 percent).
Incumbent Republican S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis defeated two challengers, Democrat Rosalyn Glenn and the American Party’s Sarah Work. Curtis received 946,411 votes (55.93 percent) to win; Glenn, 690,724 (40.82 percent); Work, 25,822 (1.53 percent).
Incumbent Republican S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson won reelection with 932,633 votes (55.04 percent), defeating Democratic challenger Constance Anasopoulo, who earned 726,027 votes (42.84 percent).
Incumbent Republican S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers had no Democratic challengers, but handily fended off third-party candidates Chris Nelums and David Edmond. Weathers gained 75.07 percent of the vote with 1.009 million votes compared to Nelums (117,902 votes, 8.84 percent) and Edmond (201,155 votes, 15.08 percent).
Incumbent Republican Ralph Norman won reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives with 140,419 votes (57.03 percent), defeating Democrat Archie Parnell (102,074 votes, 41.5 percent) and third-party candidate Michael Chandler (3,379 votes, 1.37 percent). In Kershaw County, Norman received 14,222 votes (60.68 percent); Parnell, 8,833 votes (37.69 percent); Chandler, 361 votes (1.54 percent).
Also, a proposed amendment on the ballot to make the S.C. Superintendent of Education position one appointed by the governor rather than directly elected by the people failed. Statewide, 889,049 people voted “no” to enact the change, or 60 percent) versus 592,648 (40 percent) who voted “yes.” In Kershaw County, 13,350 people, or 60.07 percent voted “no” versus 8,874 (39.93 percent) who voted “yes.”