Elections

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…

Solar energy projects, new jobs coming to Lexington County

Two companies — one California-based and one internationally-based — are coming to Lexington County with renewable energy and new jobs. OMP Mechtron LLC, a manufacturer of mechanical parts and electronic integration headquartered in Italy, is expanding its existing operation in Batesburg-Leesville to a larger facility in Gilbert. The $2.9 million investment will create 20 new jobs during the next five years. “There are a…

Election 2015: Several candidates file for mayoral, council seats in West Columbia, Irmo, Chapin

Candidate filing has closed for the final two Lexington County municipalities, and the ballot is crowded in West Columbia. Four people have filed to run for West Columbia mayor, and an additional 11 people filed to run for one of the four open seats on West Columbia City Council. All candidates face challengers. Incumbent Eric Fowler is not seeking re-election for District…

Election 2015: Filing update for municipal races

The candidate rosters are filling up fast for municipal elections in Lexington and Richland counties. Filing closed at noon Friday for some cities, but others like Columbia, West Columbia and Chapin have extended deadlines. Interested residents can contact the Lexington County Registration and Elections Commission, the city of West Columbia or the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration board for more details…

Local real estate agent John Adams announces run for Columbia City Council

Columbia’s City Council members could see the son of a former mayor join their ranks, as John Adams has announced his intent to run for the at-large seat. John Adams, a local real estate agent and son of former Mayor Patton Adams, plans to run for Columbia’s at-large city council seat. (photo provided) “Taking Columbia to its full potential is not…

Nickelodeon Theatre Executive Director Andy Smith announces run for Columbia City Council

The candidate pool for Columbia City Council continues to grow as the November election nears. Andy Smith, executive director of the Nickelodeon Theatre, is the latest resident to announce his bid for the at-large seat currently occupied by Cameron Runyan. “I think we’ve got a new generation stepping up wanting to take on leadership roles across the city, and I…

Election 2015: Filing update for November election

The next major municipal elections for Lexington and Richland counties are less than three months away, but only a handful of people have filed to run so far. The elections are set for Nov. 3, and municipalities with mayors, council members or both up for re-election include West Columbia, Batesburg-Leesville, Chapin, Pelion, Pine Ridge, Springdale, Summitt, Swansea, Columbia, Arcadia Lakes, Blythewood…

State Rep. Beth Bernstein opts out of bid for S.C. Senate seat

State Rep. Beth Bernstein, who represents House District 78, announced Tuesday that she would not seek state Sen. Joel Lourie’s seat. Lourie recently said he would not run for re-election for District 22. Rep. Beth Bernstein. (photo provided) “After much prayer and personal reflection, my conclusion is that while serving in the Senate would be an exciting opportunity, I believe my…

Aaron Bishop tells constituents “I am District 2” as he announces candidacy for Columbia City Council seat

  Aaron Bishop summed up what he wanted constituents to know about him in four words: “I am District 2.” The Richland One School Board member kicked off his campaign Wednesday night for the Columbia City Council seat with family, friends and supporters in tow. “My leadership is unquestionable because I am a proven leader who listens, and I’m anointed…

Richland County Councilman Jim Manning announces campaign for S.C. House seat

Richland County Councilman Jim Manning has announced his intention to run for the South Carolina House of Representatives. Manning plans to campaign for the District 78 seat currently occupied by Beth Bernstein, who represents Richland County. Bernstein’s term expires in 2016. Richland County Councilman Jim Manning. (photo provided) Manning, a licensed social worker, said he decided to run to pursue improvements…

Cayce reschedules September special election

The special election to replace an outgoing Cayce City Council member has been pushed back to coincide with another previously scheduled election. Council members voted last week to set the election date for Sept. 1 following the resignation of Councilman Tim James, who is relocating to Florida. An election for Lexington School District Four is set for Sept. 15, and officials…

Cayce sets special election date to replace outgoing Councilman Tim James

Cayce City Councilman Tim James is stepping down from his post after serving the city in one capacity or another for more than two decades, and residents will vote to elect his replacement this September. James announced his impending resignation in April after accepting a public safety job in Florida. He has served on council representing District 4 for five years….

Richland One students, community leaders participate in 7th annual Together We Can Read initiative

More than 2,000 third-graders in Richland One spent Thursday morning participating in reading time with more than 100 elected officials and community members as part of the district’s seventh annual Together We Can Read initiative. Columbia City Councilman Brian Newman reads to students at Burton-Pack Elementary School (photo by Kelly Petty). “This is important because it encourages children  to read,”…

Richland County Election Commission rejects more than 200 paper ballots from Tuesday’s election

Some members of the Richland County Election Commission said they were “uncomfortable” about the paper ballot process as more than 200 provisional and fail safe ballots were not counted at a called meeting Friday. The ballots were filled out by individuals who did not have a photo ID, changed addresses or were registered in another county. Commissioners rejected 233 ballots…