Elections

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,…

Voter registration deadline for Nov. 3 election is this week

Local voters have just a few days to make sure they can cast a ballot in the upcoming municipal elections. Any person wishing to vote in the Nov. 3 elections must register their updated information no later than Saturday. Registration can be completed online with a South Carolina driver’s license or DMV ID Card or in person at the voter’s county elections…

Student groups encourage young people to get out and vote

Several student organizations came together Tuesday in an effort to increase the number of young registered voters on the University of South Carolina campus. “To me the most important challenging issue is student debt,” Rep. Jim Clyburn said. “They won’t be able to buy homes and start families because they are drowning in debt.” Tables were set up along Greene Street…

Experts at USC symposium say it’s too early to know who will emerge in presidential race

The campaign to be the next president of the United States has been underway for months, but as University of South Carolina instructor and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler said, “Now it gets serious.” Tuesday night’s panel featured Laura Woliver (from left), Harrison, Tumulty, Scott Huffmon, Alexis Simendinger, and Charles Bierbauer (photo by Allen Wallace) Voters will begin…

Howard Duvall says he ‘can hit the ground running’ during Columbia City Council campaign launch

Veteran politico Howard Duvall said he wants to make Columbia a place to “live, work and play” if elected to City Council this November. Duvall, 72, launched his campaign Wednesday evening with a crowd of supporters at the First Citizen’s Cafe on Main Street. Howard Duvall launches his campaign for the Columbia City Council at-large seat. (photo by Kelly Petty) “I believe the…

Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan announces re-election bid

Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan called his re-election bid a fight against the “old city hall history of financial recklessness” that he said is being passed on to taxpayers. Columbia City Councilman announces his run for re-election to the at-large seat Wednesday. (photo by Kelly Petty) Runyan, 38, announced his decision to run for the at-large seat Wednesday morning, the…