Politics

Columbia College set to host forum Monday for third-party candidates

Democrat and Republican candidates for elected office tend to draw the most attention, but the spotlight will shine on candidates from other parties Monday evening in Columbia. Columbia College will host a forum for third-party candidates, who make up 20 percent of the candidates in South Carolina’s state and federal elections this year. The event is free and open to the public. The…

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell suspends himself from office following indictment

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell suspended himself from that office Thursday following his indictment a day earlier by a Richland County grand jury. S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell (file photo by Allen Wallace) State law requires the House speaker to suspend any member of the House indicted on a charge that carries a potential sentence of more than two…

Social workers’ association endorses state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in gubernatorial race

South Carolina’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is endorsing state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the race to be the South Carolina’s next governor. The group made the announcement Tuesday afternoon. Sen. Vincent Sheheen (file photo by Allen Wallace) “As social workers, it’s our job to protect children, families, and South Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. For South Carolina to be…

Chapin special referendum date again under question

The Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections again has approved the date for a special referendum to take place in Chapin on Sept. 30. The town’s mayor, however, says the date was set illegally. Mayor Skip Wilson explained last week during the August council meeting that the town’s ordinance governing elections gave the authority to set special election dates to…

Election 2014: Filing period wraps up for school board seats

Campaigning officially has started for Lexington and Richland county school board seats up for re-election this November. Each of the seven local districts has multiple trustees’ terms ending, and most of the incumbents filed to run again. Seats are nonpartisan. School board members are responsible for creating policy for schools and employees as well as hiring superintendents and approving the…

Date still uncertain for Chapin strong-mayor referendum vote

Chapin residents will have to wait a few more days to learn when they will vote on the town’s form of government. It was discovered during discussions between Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson and the Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections that a municipal election commission still has the authority to set election dates under town code. Wilson said Wednesday during the…

Panelists at USC forum say state Sen. Vincent Sheheen has steep uphill climb in gubernatorial race

A group of professors who follow state politics closely say the odds are in favor of a second term in office for Gov. Nikki Haley. Thursday night’s panel featured Scott Buchanan (from left), Scott Huffmon, Todd Shaw, Alissa Warters, David Woodard and moderator Charles Bierbauer. (photo by Allen Wallace) The University of South Carolina hosted a symposium on the gubernatorial…

Election 2014: Filing opens Friday for Cayce City Council, school board seats in Lexington, Richland counties

Residents who desire to play a more active role in their community government can file for an open seat on City Council or their district’s school board starting this week. Filing for several November races opens Friday at noon and will remain open until noon Aug. 15. Elections offices in Richland and Lexington counties will be available to candidates during…

Thomas Ravenel files petition to run for U.S. Senate

Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, who resigned from that office after pleading guilty to federal cocaine distribution charges, filed a petition Monday to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Lindsey Graham. Thomas Ravenel (photo courtesy of the Thomas Ravenel campaign) Ravenel presented a petition to the South Carolina Election Commission, saying it had more than…

Former candidate Don Jordan endorses Molly Spearman in education superintendent runoff

The Democratic and Republic runoffs for state superintendent of education are coming up Tuesday, and one candidate has received and endorsement from a former opponent. Republican candidate and Saluda County native Molly Spearman recently received support from former Republican candidate Don Jordan. Jordan, a professor at the University of South Carolina, received nearly 6 percent of the vote during primary…

Sen. Vincent Sheheen calls for leadership at state education association conference

Gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Vincent Sheheen told educators Tuesday at the South Carolina Education Association annual conference that the state’s future is rooted in a strong public education system. “South Carolina deserves a leader they can trust in the governor’s office, who will lead on education instead of making devastating cuts for three years before turning school funding into an…

Local leaders sign regional transportation resolution to seek millions from state infrastructure bank

City and county leaders are presenting a united front in an effort to improve transportation in the Midlands as they seek a $336 million grant from the state. “This marks a historic day in the Midlands,” said Richland County Council Chairman Norman Jackson. “This project will foster economic competitiveness, enhance citizens’ quality of life and create a stronger economic base…

Pat McKinney withdraws from lieutenant governor race

After nearly securing a spot in the Republican primary runoff for South Carolina lieutenant governor, Pat McKinney announced his intention to leave the race. The candidate issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying he instead wanted to focus on family. “After much thoughtful prayer and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the race for lieutenant governor. The primary campaign was hard…

Richland County primary elections avoid major problems

Only 15 percent of Richland County’s registered voters cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primaries, but most who did found no problems at the polls. Samuel Selph, interim director of the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Office, takes questions from reporters Tuesday. (photo by Allen Wallace) “We had a great day after a rocky start,” said Samuel Selph, interim director of…

Adams re-elected as Richland County treasurer; Douglas, McLeod Spires re-elected to state House of Representatives

Incumbent David Adams won another term as Richland County Treasurer on Tuesday. Adams defeated Joe McEachern II in the Democratic primary, and with no Republican candidate on the November ballot, he automatically takes office again. Incumbent state Rep. MaryGail Douglas will return to the state House of Representatives as the Democratic representative from District 41. Douglas defeated William Budda Killian…

U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson, Jim Clyburn easily win U.S. House nominations

Incumbent U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson and Jim Clyburn easily won their primary races Tuesday. Wilson, seeking a seventh term in Congress, defeated Eddie McCain with 82 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Wilson will face Phil Black in November. Black defeated Ed Greenleaf in the Democratic primary. According to unofficial results, Clyburn defeated Karen Smith with 86 percent…

Republicans Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham to face off against Democratic challengers Joyce Dickerson, Brad Hutto for U.S. Senate seats

Incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham avoided a runoff and won his primary outright Tuesday, while Sen. Tim Scott took an easy win in his as well. The Republican senators will be challenged in November by state Sen. Brad Hutto and Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, respectively. Graham overcame six challengers to win a majority of the primary vote. He will face…

Gov. Nikki Haley celebrates education reform plan to improve reading, technology access in South Carolina

Gov. Nikki Haley lauded the passage of her landmark k-12 education reform initiative as a step toward closing the achievement gap in South Carolina. Nikki Haley speaks about the passage of her education reform package at a Logan Elementary School celebration. (photo by Kelly Petty) “We can no longer in South Carolina educate children based on where they live,” she…

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina GOP leaders tout ‘American dream’ at Republican dinner

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told South Carolina Republicans on Friday night that the party has an opportunity to turn back the past six years of President Barack Obama’s administration in November. “I think right now the American people are frustrated. They’ve been told year after year the recovery is coming tomorrow, and it hasn’t come yet. College is getting more…

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Rep. James Smith propose plan to help South Carolina veterans with health care problems

South Carolina Sen. Vincent Sheheen said Tuesday that with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in a state of dysfunction, South Carolina leaders must “stand in the gap” and do all they can to help veterans in the Palmetto State. Sheheen and state Rep. James Smith are proposing a plan to do just that. Smith will ask the state House…

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott endorses Sheheen for governor, criticizes Haley’s handling of DSS

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has endorsed Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the race to be South Carolina’s next governor. Sheriff Leon Lott (file photo by Allen Wallace) The Sheheen campaign’s first television ad, now airing all over South Carolina, features Lott as the only speaker. “Children are dying, children Nikki Haley’s administration is supposed to protect,” Lott says while video…

3 more enter Lexington County coroner race

Before filing for the office of Lexington County coroner closed Friday, three more Republicans entered the race. The full list of candidates now includes Margaret Fisher, Jay Phillips and Jason Willoughby. Fisher, a senior deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, is a longtime resident of Lexington County. She is also a member of the department’s Community Action Team and the Lake…

Gov. Nikki Haley declares support for ‘rock star’ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley expressed her support Wednesday for embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, referring to Christie as a “rock star.” Gov. Nikki Haley (file photo by Allen Wallace) Haley’s comments came at a news conference in New York, where she and Christie are attending a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. Christie has come under fire and…