Elections

13 candidates in the race for state education superintendent

The primary ballot for state superintendent of education will be crowded on the Republican and Democratic tickets this June. In total, 13 people — four Democrats, eight Republicans and one member of the American party — filed to fill the shoes of current Superintendent Mick Zais who is not seeking re-election. Of those candidates, multiple have direct ties to the Midlands including…

Columbia attorney Joe McCulloch to challenge state Rep. Kirkman Finlay in S.C. House District 75 race

There will be a rematch this November of one of the closest South Carolina races of 2012. Columbia attorney and University of South Carolina teacher Joe McCulloch filed paperwork Sunday to run as a Democrat against state Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R) for the South Carolina House District 75 seat. Joe McCulloch will run as a Democrat for the South Carolina…

Candidates for state education superintendent speak to teachers in Lexington

Six candidates running for South Carolina superintendent of education spoke to teachers Saturday in Lexington at a forum held in conjunction with the Palmetto State Teachers Association annual convention. Six of the candidates for South Carolina Education Superintendent spoke to teachers in Lexington Saturday. (photo by Allen Wallace) Gary Burgess (R), Amy Cofield (R), Sheila Gallagher (D), Don Jordan (R),…

Republican candidate Tom Ervin files to challenge Haley in gubernatorial primary

Former state Rep. Tom Ervin will run for governor of South Carolina as a Republican this year. Former state Rep. Tom Ervin officially entered the race for South Carolina governor Saturday. (photo provided) Ervin filed the necessary paperwork to enter the race Saturday. He will oppose Gov. Nikki Haley in the Republican primary in June. Ervin served two terms as…

Eddie Baughman elected to Blythewood Town Council during special election

The first vote under a new Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board director went off without a hitch, according to the interim leader. “It was very smooth. The machines worked, everything worked,” said Interim Elections Director Samuel Selph. Blythewood resident Eddie Baughman was elected to the Town Council with 60 votes Tuesday night after former Councilman Roger Hovis vacated…

8th candidate enters Lexington Town Council race

The April special election for a Lexington Town Council seat has yet another resident who will be a write-in candidate. Councilman Danny Frazier resigned in January, and seven candidates declared their intention to run for his seat. The Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections confirmed Monday that Ron Williams was the eighth candidate to submit his notice and will run….

Former Richland Two School District teacher, deputy superintendent to run for state superintendent of education

Meka Childs plans to run on the Republican ticket for state superintendent of education. (photo provided) Another Midlands resident has announced intentions to run for state superintendent of education ahead of the official filing period. Meka Childs, a former Richland Two School District teacher and recent deputy administrator at the South Carolina Department of Education, is planning to run on…

USC professor to run for state superintendent of education

Don Jordan will run for state Superintendent of Education. (photo provided) A USC professor is one the latest to state intentions to file as candidate for state Superintendent of Education and replace current superintendent Mick Zais. The outgoing superintendent announced in December that he would not seek another term. A Camden native, Don Jordan became a professor at the University…

S.C. school administrators association director enters state superintendent race

Molly Spearman has announced her bid for state Superintendent of Education. (photo provided) The Republican ticket for state superintendent of education is getting crowded as another GOP candidate has declared her intention to run. Current superintendent Dr. Mick Zais announced in December that he would not seek another term. Molly Spearman has been the executive director of the South Carolina…

Ed Greenleaf launches campaign for U.S. House seat on promise to put constituents first

Richland County resident Ed Greenleaf told supporters at a Tuesday campaign launch event that U.S. House District 2 deserves a congressman who would create jobs and put constituents first. Ed Greenleaf kicks off his campaign for the District 2 congressional seat. (photo by Kelly Petty) “We can vote for the same person who’s held the office for 13 years. And…

County elections director announces 25 new precincts, major poll worker recruitment campaign

Richland County’s Elections and Voter Registration Director Howard Jackson informed members of the department’s oversight commission that his team is on track to ensuring this year’s elections run smoothly. The Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Commission met to discuss improvements to voter registration and poll access. (photo by Kelly Petty) The county will add 25 new precincts, Jackson said,…

Lexington attorney Amy Cofield announces bid for state superintendent of education

Lexington attorney Amy Cofield will run for state Superintendent of Education. (photo provided) Another Midlands resident has entered the race to replace state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais. Amy Cofield, who has lived in the Upstate but currently practices law in Lexington, announced Tuesday that she is running for the position. Zais previously stated his intentions not to seek reelection….

Education activist announces run for state education superintendent seat

Sheri Few (photo provided) In the midst of pushing for the repeal of Common Core, a Kershaw resident has announced her bid for State Superintendent of Education. Sheri Few, president and CEO of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education, is the second person to join the race. Rep. Andy Patrick, a Hilton Head resident and Republican, announced his intention to…

Municipal Election Commission certifies ballots from city of Columbia special election

After a brief discussion, the city of Columbia Municipal Election Commission certified all votes for the Dec. 3 special election at a Thursday morning meeting. Commissioners Jay Bender (from left), Susan Kuo, Election Director Howard Jackson and City Clerk Erika Moore certify election ballots. (photo by Kelly Petty) Of the 81 precincts counted, 11,808 ballots were cast on the referendum…

Columbia voters say no to strong mayor

Despite an organized effort, supporters of the strong-mayor form of government went home empty-handed Tuesday night as Columbia residents voted down the ballot referendum. Mayor Steve Benjamin and supporters push for strong mayor vote Monday afternoon. Photo by Kelly Petty. The unofficial results with 78 of 81 precincts reporting showed nearly 57 percent of voters voted against a mayor-council form of…

Mayor lobbies Columbia Chamber of Commerce for support of ‘strong-mayor’ referendum

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin pitched Tuesday morning to members of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce to get out to the polls and to vote in favor of the strong-mayor referendum. “This is a much more important election than the one before,” Benjamin said. Benjamin claimed the benefits of the strong-mayor form of government for the business community would include better…

Mayor Steve Benjamin outlines plan for city if strong-mayor referendum passes

Before a vote had been cast on the strong-mayor ballot referendum, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin laid out his Day 1 plan if residents choose to change the current form of government. Mayor Steve Benjamin spoke Monday afternoon to push for support of the strong-mayor referendum. (photo by Kelly Petty) Flanked by community leaders, business owners, residents and his old boss —…

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….