Elections

Audit ordered for Richland County elections office

Richland County’s Voter Registration and Elections office got part of its wish for more money to run this year’s elections Tuesday, but with an important stipulation. The Voter Registration and Elections office will receive more than $229,000 to pay for licensing and equipment needed to run the June presidential primaries and the November general election. In return, the office will undergo an…

Chapin resident to run for Lexington County register of deeds

The first candidate has come forth to seek the position being vacated this spring by retiring Lexington County Register of Deeds Debbie Gunter. Tina Guerry (Photo provided) Republican Tina Guerry of Chapin, a lifelong Lexington County resident, has announced her candidacy in the June 14 primary election. “Debbie Gunter has been a dedicated public servant whose example all public officials would…

Hillary Clinton decisively takes South Carolina in presidential preference primary

Hillary Clinton trounced challenger Bernie Sanders during Saturday night’s First of the South Democratic presidential preference primary in South Carolina. The former Secretary of State beat the Vermont senator by taking about 73 percent overall among the state’s voters. Clinton took 75 percent of the vote in Richland County and 61 percent percent in Lexington. Sanders earned 25 percent of…

Trump wins South Carolina Republican primary

Republican voters in South Carolina helped push presidential nominee Donald Trump to victory Saturday night in the state’s GOP primary. The real estate business mogul earned 32.4 percent of the vote across the state over his five opponents, according to unofficial results. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came in behind Trump with 22.4 percent of the vote. Republican voters…

Vote 2016: Richland, Lexington counties gear up for presidential party primaries

Election officials in Richland and Lexington counties are preparing for the upcoming Republican and Democratic presidential preference primaries. “We’re ready to go,” Richland County Elections Director Samuel Selph said. The Republican primary will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, while the Democratic primary is the following Saturday, Feb. 27. Selph said about 900 ballot machines will be used in both primaries. Those include…

2 candidates file for vacant Lexington Three school board seat

A special election has been scheduled for next month to fill a seat on a local school board. Benjie Rikard resigned from the Lexington Three School Board in November for health reasons. The election to replace him is Feb. 2. According to the Lexington County Elections Commission, Brian Yarborough and Lancer Shull filed to run in the election. Rikard’s term is set…

Columbia City Council ushers in ‘new beginnings’ with newly-elected members

Columbia City Council is trying to build “One Columbia” with a new set of council members who will change the face of the elected body in the coming year. Councilmen Howard Duvall and Rev. Ed McDowell were sworn in Tuesday afternoon, along with returning member Moe Baddourah, in front of a packed crowd of supporters and family. Howard Duvall takes…

Columbia voters elect Howard Duvall, Ed McDowell to City Council in runoff

Columbia’s City Council is getting some fresh faces. Howard Duvall and Ed McDowell defeated opponents Andy Smith and Aaron Bishop for seats on council in Tuesday’s runoff election. Duvall, the at-large winner, earned 66 percent of the vote with 4,894 votes over Smith. McDowell, the new District 2 representative, edged out Bishop with 820 votes for 51 percent of the votes….

Former SLED agent to challenge Lott in Richland County sheriff election

The election is a year away, but a former Gamecock football player and former SLED agent has announced his plan to run for sheriff of Richland County. James Flowers (photo provided) will run for Richland County sheriff. James Flowers, now a law enforcement consultant, will take on incumbent Sheriff Leon Lott in the Democratic primary. Voters will choose a sheriff in November 2016….

Columbia City Council elections end in runoff as challengers edge out mayor’s picks

The election for the two biggest races for Columbia City Council are headed for runoff after a close race Tuesday, and candidates endorsed by Mayor Steve Benjamin were topped by challengers. No candidate earned enough votes to avoid the runoff. Ed McDowell took in about 37 percent of the vote for the District 2 seat. Aaron Bishop, who as endorsed by Benjamin, finished with…

Irmo mayor wins re-election; new council members elected to several municipalities

Voters elected several new faces to represent them in smaller municipalities in Lexington and Richland counties. Chapin, Pelion, Batesburg-Leesville and Arcadia Lakes held elections Tuesday as did Irmo. Town of Irmo Irmo Mayor Hardy King faced opposition from another elected official but was re-elected in a tight race. Unofficial results from Lexington and Richland counties have King defeating challenger Councilman Paul Younginer…

Election Guide 2015: Richland County voter guide

Two seats on Columbia’s city council are at stake in the Nov. 3 election. Eleven candidates are running for two seats on council: District 2 and one at-large spot. Incumbent Cameron Runyan is hoping to hold onto his at-large position but faces opposition from five other candidates. Councilman Brian Newman is not running for re-election in District 2. Councilman Moe…

Election 2015: Lexington County voter guide

Two towns in Lexington County could have new mayors after the Nov. 3 election. Mayors in Irmo and West Columbia are facing opposition at the ballot box, and the cities also have multiple council seats up for re-election. Irmo Mayor Hardy King, who was elected to council in 2005, will be on the ballot with current Councilman Paul Younginer. Younginer…

At-large City Council candidate Andy Smith gets endorsement from Columbia Firefighter’s Association

Columbia City Council candidate Andy Smith got his second endorsement in the past week. The Columbia Firefighter’s Association announced Wednesday its support of Smith’s campaign for the City Council at-large seat. Association members say they think Smith can lead the city in its growth and change. “As the director of The Nickelodeon, he has been a part of the growth…

Mayor Steve Benjamin endorses Aaron Bishop for Columbia City Council

Mayor Steve Benjamin on Monday morning threw his support behind Aaron Bishop for the District 2 seat on Columbia City Council. The official endorsement was made during a news conference at City Hall just days after Benjamin announced his backing of at-large candidate Andy Smith. “District 2 is probably  the most diverse district in our city,” Benjamin said. “As chairman…

Chapin Town Council candidates talk annexation, recreation at forum

There will be at least one new face on Chapin Town Council after the Nov. 3 election. The Chapin Women’s Club hosted a forum Thursday to give voters the opportunity to hear from the candidates. Four people filed to run for the two open seats on council including incumbent Kay Hollis, Mike Clonts, Mark McCandlish and Jim Palassis. Councilwoman Vivian Atkins decided not…

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin officially endorses Andy Smith for City Council

Andy Smith got a big boost for his campaign for Columbia’s at-large City Council seat Wednesday. The youngest candidate in the race received an official endorsement from Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin just two weeks out from the Nov. 3 election. Andy Smith (left) speaks to students in the Mayor’s Fellows Program. (photo by Kelly Petty) “His understanding of our vision…

Richland County elections director says office is ready for November election

The floods have not stopped the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections office from preparing for the upcoming municipal elections Nov. 3. The department’s director says his team is moving forward with the scheduled election date. “We’re set. We’re ready to go,” said Elections Director Samuel Selph. Selph said his office would conduct four elections including the city of Columbia,…

Lexington County leaders agree to move forward with capital sales tax for 2016 ballot

People in Lexington County could be voting on a capital penny sales tax again in 2016. Officials put forth the measure in 2014, but it was defeated handily when residents shot down the idea of using a portion of the funds for wastewater and recreation projects when the county’s roads are in dire need of improvements and repair. Council members agreed the next proposal should be…

Richland County Councilman Jim Manning drops out of S.C. House District 78 race

Richland County Councilman Jim Manning has decided to pull out of the 2016 race for House District 78. He says he plans to run for re-election to his seat on Richland County Council. Manning announced his decision to run for the seat in August. He committed to sticking with the campaign after State Rep. Beth Bernstein, who represents the district,…