Elections

Richland County election director apologizes for election errors

Richland County Election Director Howard Jackson told the Municipal Election Commission during a Tuesday morning meeting that the failure to count all absentee ballots won’t happen again. “I take full responsibility and I assure the public, this won’t happen again,” Jackson said. For the Nov. 5 election, 128 precincts were counted. The city of Columbia certified 29,660 votes but did…

Strong-mayor opposition group criticizes Steve Benjamin, The State newspaper for support of referendum

A drizzly Tuesday morning did not stop strong-mayor opponents from gathering once more prior to the Dec. 3 special election next week. Members from Communities United for a Great Columbia, led by former Richland County Councilwoman Kit Smith, held a news conference outside The State newspaper offices to criticize the paper’s editorial support for the strong-mayor referendum and to quash…

Steve Cain wins Batesburg-Leesville Council District 3 runoff

After a close race on election night, the Town of Batesburg-Leesville held a runoff Tuesday for the Town Council District 3 seat. Incumbent Steve Cain was challenged Nov. 11 by Delores Peaster and Cynthia Settle. Peaster received 49 percent of the vote to Cain’s 42 percent, but a runoff was necessary since neither candidate reached 50 percent. Peaster received just…

Springdale and Lexington mayoral race recounts certified; challengers victorious

The votes have been counted again, and incumbents in the races for mayor of Lexington and mayor of Springdale have been ousted by a narrow margin. Current Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre formally requested a recount Thursday. The Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections performed an official recount Friday morning and certified the unofficial results that were posted election night….

Recounts scheduled for Lexington, Springdale mayoral races

A recount is coming for the Town of Lexington and Town of Springdale mayoral races. Current Lexington mayor Randy Halfacre said Thursday that he formally requested a recount of the tight race. The Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections issued an announcement later that afternoon. “There will be a recount of Mayor of Lexington and Mayor of Springdale (Friday) at 11…

Steve Benjamin wins re-election in Columbia mayoral race

With 64 percent of the vote, Steve Benjamin reclaimed his seat as mayor of City of Columbia. Benjamin beat out city councilman and local businessman Moe Baddourah in a contentious battle that pit a well-oiled campaign machine against a grassroots effort. Mayor Benjamin greets supporters at Tuesday night’s victory party. (photo by Allen Wallace) “We’re going to focus on creating…

3 Columbia City Council members keep their seats

The old guard of Columbia’s City Council retain their seats after three members won their race in Tuesday’s election. Incumbents Tameika Isaac Devine, Leona Plaugh and Sam Davis each beat their challengers by large margins. Photo courtesy of Tameika Isaac Devine. Devine beat her competitor, longtime North Columbia resident and small business owner Tommy Burkett, with 9,377 votes (65 percent)…

Glitches, confusion over ballots frustrate Richland County voters

Malfunctioning voting machines and confusion over ballot questions Tuesday left some Richland County voters disgruntled and marred an otherwise smooth Election Day. Poll workers file reports for the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration board. Photo by Kelly Petty. As residents in Richland County and the City of Columbia went to the polls, election workers at several precincts had to…

Lexington County residents have smooth voting experience

There was no president, governor or major issue on the ballots, but voters across Lexington County still made it a point to come out and vote for the candidates they wanted to represent them in their city or town. “It’s the right thing to do. Every American should exercise the right to vote,” said Lexington resident Tom Schlictman. “It’s what…

MacDougall defeats Halfacre in close Lexington mayoral race; Chapin elects new mayor

Residents in the Town of Lexington and the Town of Chapin have elected new mayors. Neither Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre nor Chapin Mayor Stan Shealy garnered enough votes to continue in the positions they’ve held for years – but a recount is likely in the Lexington contest. Halfacre was challenged by Lexington Town Councilman Steve MacDougall, who was elected to council…

Batesburg-Leesville elects Councilwoman Rita Jones Crapps as new mayor

With three candidates to choose from, citizens in Batesburg-Leesville elected a current Town Council member to the position of mayor. In addition, there were three council seats on Tuesday’s ballot. Bob Hall, Rita Jones Crapps and Steve Cain all filed to run for mayor when current Mayor Jim Wiszowaty decided not to seek re-election. Crapps, who represents District 7, won…

Richland County voters approve $59 million library bond referendum

Richland County voters overwhelmingly approved a $59 million bond referendum to increase the Richland Library budget for future renovations and repairs. Library employees and other referendum supporters watch the results come in Tuesday night at Thirsty Fellow. (photo by Allen Wallace) “This has been such an affirming process to go through. People were so kind,” said Melanie Huggins, executive director…

Know before you go: Election Day 2013

Elections commence Tuesday in Lexington and Richland counties. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. For consideration on the ballots are several mayoral and city council seats in both counties. Photo courtesy of S.C. State Elections Commission. Voters also are to decide on two referendums — the library bond referendum for all Richland County residents and a special…

Town of Springdale Mayor Candidate Q&A: Michael Bishop

ColaDaily sent an identical questionnaire to each candidate for the mayor of the Town of Springdale. The position is currently held by Pat Smith, who is facing off against challenger Michael Bishop. The election takes place Nov. 5. Below are Bishop’s answers to the questions. Read Smith’s responses here. Can you share your age, family and professional background history? Age:…

Town of Springdale Mayor Candidate Q&A: Pat Smith (incumbent)

ColaDaily sent an identical questionnaire to each candidate for the mayor of the Town of Springdale. The position is currently held by Pat Smith, who is facing off against challenger Michael Bishop. The election takes place Nov. 5. Below are Smith’s answers to the questions. View a completed questionnaire from Bishop here. Can you share your age, family and professional…

Columbia City Council District 1 Q&A: Bruce Trezevant

ColaDaily sent an identical questionnaire to each candidate for city of Columbia council district one. The position is held by Sam Davis, who is facing off against challenger Bruce Trezevant. The election takes place Nov. 5. Below are Trezevant’s responses. Davis did not complete a questionnaire. Photo courtesy of Bruce Trezevant. Can you share your age, elected office and professional…

West Columbia City Council District 4 Candidate Q&A: Bobby George

Bobby George Five people are in the running for the vacant seat on West Columbia City Council. District 4 Councilmember Abby Bray died in May, and four candidates — Luane Brickhouse, Bobby George, Marsha Moore and Ann Thornley — filed to run for the unexpired term. A write-in candidate, Tem Miles, later entered the race. The election takes place Nov. 5….

West Columbia City Council District 4 Candidate Q&A: Ann Thornley

Ann Thornley Five people are in the running for the vacant seat on West Columbia City Council. District 4 Councilmember Abby Bray died in May, and four candidates — Luane Brickhouse, Bobby George, Marsha Moore and Ann Thornley — filed to run for the unexpired term. A write-in candidate, Tem Miles, later entered the race. The election takes place Nov. 5….

West Columbia City Council District 4 Candidate Q&A: Luane Brickhouse

Five people are in the running for the vacant seat on West Columbia City Council. District 4 Councilmember Abby Bray died in May, and four candidates — Luane Brickhouse, Bobby George, Marsha Moore and Ann Thornley — filed to run for the unexpired term. A write-in candidate, Tem Miles, later entered the race. The election takes place Nov. 5. The term…

Voter guide for Richland and Lexington counties

Tuesday is Election Day, and residents in Richland and Lexington counties have a few items on their ballots, as well as some changes, to keep in mind when heading to the polls. With recent changes in state voter identification laws, voters need to bring acceptable identification to the polls. Voters arriving to the polls without identification will be required to…