Elections

New faces, new era for Lexington County Council

Chairman Todd Cullum: "Will we pull together as a team?"

With the beginning of 2017, a substantial portion of Lexington County Council will be new. One-third of council will be made up of newcomers. Scotty Whetstone in District 1; Darrell Hudson in District 3; and, Erin Long Bergeson in District 6 were just elected to Council in 2016. They join reelected incumbents Debra “Deb” Summers in District 4 and Bobby…

Rep. Joe Wilson lays out agenda for GOP-controlled Washington

Excited about the prospect of a federal government fully dominated by Republicans for the first time in 16 years, Congressman Joe Wilson on Tuesday outlined his personal agenda when President-elect Donald Trump and the 115th Congress take the reins of power next month. The last time the GOP controlled all three branches of government occurred in 2001, when George W….

Lexington County to swear in new crop of elected officials

Lexington County Council will hold an Oath of Office ceremony for recently elected officials on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, at 6 p.m., in the Dorothy K. Black Council Chambers located on the second floor of the Lexington County Administration building. The elected officials, many of whom are new, will include: · Scotty R. Whetstone, County Council – District 1 ·…

Protesters mass at Statehouse to denounce Trump vote

There was a common theme as South Carolina’s nine electors met Monday in Columbia to cast their presidential vote. “Trump’s unfit,” said Eugenia Clark. She was one of about 200 on hand on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia to protest the the confirmation of Donald Trump as U.S. President by the Electoral College. A group of protesters outside the Solomon…

Bright lights, big city beckon Nikki Haley

S.C. governor accepts call from President-elect Trump to become America's next ambassador to the United Nations

For the past several years, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has been hailed as a “rising star” in the Republican Party. Pending a required U.S. Senate confirmation vote sometime early next year, her star will be affixed above the soaring skyline of midtown Manhattan as the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Following a week of speculation that Haley was…

Nikki Haley statement on U.S. Ambassador nomination

Satisfied the state is on a “very strong footing,” Haley cites “sense of duty” in accepting offer from Donald Trump

Pending U.S. Senate confirmation sometime early next year, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is set to leave her office for New York City and the role of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. On her Facebook page Wednesday, Haley released the following statement about her decision to accept the post, despite two years left in her second term as governor:…

On Haley cabinet speculation, S.C. GOP leaders say ‘why not’?

Many pundits and foreign-policy experts say Haley's lack of experience would make her a strange choice for Secretary of State

Speculation that Donald Trump may pick Gov. Nikki Haley for his cabinet, perhaps even as Secretary of State, has many national political and foreign-policy experts scratching their heads. Haley’s lack of experience and her rocky relationship with Trump top their list of reasons why she would make for an odd choice. As many of them have noted in a torrent…

Nikki Haley as ‘Madame Secretary?’

With Trump team working through the weekend on filling his cabinet, Gov. Nikki Haley waits to hear if her name is called

It’s been a crazy, heady few days for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. It began Wednesday, when former Fla. GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” tweeted that an unidentified source confirmed to him S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley of Lexington was under serious consideration as a nominee to President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet – specifically Secretary of State. That was…

Jaime Harrison makes bid to become nation’s top Democrat

South Carolina's Democratic leader seeks DNC chairmanship to help transform national party after electoral blowout

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party, has announced he intends to seek the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Harrison, an Orangeburg native and Columbia resident, made his official announcement Monday night in the final segment of the Rachel Maddow Show on the MSNBC cable-news network. SCDP chair Jaime Harrison speaks at this past summer’s 2016 Democratic National…

Protesters denounce Donald Trump at State House rally

A couple hundred people gathered Friday night in Columbia in a peaceful protest against President-elect Donald J. Trump, joining thousands more in cities across the nation who have been marching daily since the controversial billionaire’s electoral-vote victory over Hillary Clinton. Anti-Trump forces protest Friday night at the State House. (Photos by Hal Millard) The crowd, hoisting signs and chanting anti-Trump…

Electoral defeat only emboldens Arik Bjorn to fight on

Facing defeat on election night, Arik Bjorn said he was all smiles. While his supporters reached out to console him in his loss to U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson for South Carolina’s Second Congressional District seat, Bjorn said he had nothing to feel bad or sorry about. And, he said, he certainly didn’t feel sorry for himself. Arik Bjorn displays his…

Clyburn, McLeod win as Democrats dominate Richland races

County is a bright spot for Democrats on a bleak night

While Republicans across the river in Lexington County were having a field day, Democrats ruled Tuesday in races across Richland County. Nothing really new there, but on a night in which Democrats saw the presidency and both houses of Congress fall into GOP hands, the local victories were a salve nonetheless. “Thank God some sanity prevailed across Richland County tonight,”…

Upsets, uncontested races highlight Lexington County elections

Lexington County political races Tuesday were marked by Republican domination, a handful of upsets, and a slew of uncontested races. Lexington County poll workers examine voting-machine cartridges Tuesday night as the count gets underway. (Photo by Hal Millard) With 69 percent turnout and 123,024 ballots cast in the county, new President Donald Trump was the overwhelming favorite of local voters,…

Setzler, Caskey win state House seats

Lexington Two gets new board member

On a night that spelled ruin for Democratic candidates in South Carolina and nationwide, state Sen. Nikki Setzler (D-West Columbia) managed to buck the trend. Sen. Nikki Setzler (Photo provided) Setzler on Tuesday defeated Republican challenger Brad Lindsey (R-West Columbia) for the District 26 Senate seat he’s held for nearly 40 years. Setzler won with 12,228 votes to Lindsey’s 8,565….

Could this election be stolen?

Have no fear. Despite all the noise, officials say integrity of election here in S.C., at least, is all but assured

When you go to the polls Tuesday, do not be afraid. The integrity of your vote, and the election itself, is in good hands. That’s the word from local elections officials and the federal government, as voters get set to head to the polls Tuesday here in the Midlands and across the country. Absentee-in-person voting has been heavy in recent…

District 2 congressional candidates face off

Hundreds of students from Lexington get a first-hand look at the political process in live-streamed debate from River Bluff High

Hundreds of students from Lexington County got a chance on Friday to see the political process up close and personal at River Bluff High School. Second District congressional debate participants (from left): Arik Bjorn, incumbent Rep. Joe Wilson, Eddie McCain. (Photo by Rachel Ham) A debate between District Two GOP congressional incumbent Rep. Joe Wilson of Springdale, and challengers Democrat…

Congressional candidates set to spar Friday in debate showdown

Rep. Joe Wilson, along with challengers Arik Bjorn and Eddie McCain, will face off Friday morning at River Bluff High School

It’s on. A mere four days before the general election, the candidates for South Carolina’s Second Congressional District – incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R) of Springdale, Democratic/Green party nominee Arik Bjorn of Columbia, and American Party nominee Eddie McCain of Leesville – are set to take part in a moderated debate Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. at River Bluff High…

District 2 congressional candidates square off in SCETV appearance

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who represents District 2, and his two challengers confronted each other in a brief face-off Thursday night on SCETV in a warm-up before their main debate next week. From left: U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, Arik Bjorn, and Eddie McCain. (Photo provided) Wilson, a Republican from Lexington County seeking his eighth term, and his two challengers – American Party…

Leaked email shows Columbia Mayor Benjamin among early Clinton VP possibilities

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin (Photo provided) Amid all the hacked emails being leaked by the website WikiLeaks in an effort to derail the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton came this little tidbit Tuesday: Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin made the first cut of Clinton’s possible vice presidential candidate picks. (Read the email from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta). The March 17…

Party polls paint wildly different pictures of Trump-Clinton race in South Carolina

The reliability of paid-partisan voter polls is being put to the test in South Carolina this presidential election cycle. Is Donald Trump trouncing Hillary Clinton, or does Clinton actually stand a fighting chance here? That depends on which poll voters choose to believe. While Trump is expected to win the Palmetto State come Nov. 8, a series of polls paid for…

U.S. congressional candidates Joe Wilson, Arik Bjorn agree to debate

A political newcomer is hoping to shake up the Republican grip on South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. Long-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) has accepted a debate challenge from his Democratic opponent Arik Bjorn, a 43-year-old public librarian from Columbia making his first-ever bid for elected office. “Congressman Wilson wants to discuss the issues important to South Carolinians, and…

Some races come down to wire in primary runoff

Voters in Richland and Lexington counties trickled into polling places to cast their ballots in Tuesday’s primary runoff. Richland County Ivory Thigpen won the race for the South Carolina House of Representatives District 79 seat, taking 64 percent of the vote over Monica Elkins. And Dahli Myers won the runoff for the Richland County Council District 10 primary with 69…

Columbia attorney Dahli Myers wins District 10 special election runoff

Richland County has a new County Council representative. Local attorney Dahli Myers won the District 10 seat, capturing 60 percent of the vote. Attorney Dahli Myers won the Richland County Council District 10 special election. (Photos provided) She received 2,111 votes, while her opponent, Bernice Scott, earned 1,374 votes. Myers will finish out the term ending Dec. 31 for former…

Several candidates headed to runoffs after low voter turnout in June primary

Thunderstorms loomed over the Midlands on Tuesday as voters trickled into polling places to cast votes for the general primary election in South Carolina. Several candidates in Richland and Lexington counties will be heading to the November election to face In Richland County, Sheriff Leon Lott won handily over his challenger, former South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent James Flowers. Lott captured 75…