Elections

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….

Recounts scheduled for Lexington, Springdale mayoral races

A recount is coming for the Town of Lexington and Town of Springdale mayoral races. Current Lexington mayor Randy Halfacre said Thursday that he formally requested a recount of the tight race. The Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections issued an announcement later that afternoon. “There will be a recount of Mayor of Lexington and Mayor of Springdale (Friday) at 11…

Steve Benjamin wins re-election in Columbia mayoral race

With 64 percent of the vote, Steve Benjamin reclaimed his seat as mayor of City of Columbia. Benjamin beat out city councilman and local businessman Moe Baddourah in a contentious battle that pit a well-oiled campaign machine against a grassroots effort. Mayor Benjamin greets supporters at Tuesday night’s victory party. (photo by Allen Wallace) “We’re going to focus on creating…

3 Columbia City Council members keep their seats

The old guard of Columbia’s City Council retain their seats after three members won their race in Tuesday’s election. Incumbents Tameika Isaac Devine, Leona Plaugh and Sam Davis each beat their challengers by large margins. Photo courtesy of Tameika Isaac Devine. Devine beat her competitor, longtime North Columbia resident and small business owner Tommy Burkett, with 9,377 votes (65 percent)…

Glitches, confusion over ballots frustrate Richland County voters

Malfunctioning voting machines and confusion over ballot questions Tuesday left some Richland County voters disgruntled and marred an otherwise smooth Election Day. Poll workers file reports for the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration board. Photo by Kelly Petty. As residents in Richland County and the City of Columbia went to the polls, election workers at several precincts had to…

Lexington County residents have smooth voting experience

There was no president, governor or major issue on the ballots, but voters across Lexington County still made it a point to come out and vote for the candidates they wanted to represent them in their city or town. “It’s the right thing to do. Every American should exercise the right to vote,” said Lexington resident Tom Schlictman. “It’s what…

MacDougall defeats Halfacre in close Lexington mayoral race; Chapin elects new mayor

Residents in the Town of Lexington and the Town of Chapin have elected new mayors. Neither Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre nor Chapin Mayor Stan Shealy garnered enough votes to continue in the positions they’ve held for years – but a recount is likely in the Lexington contest. Halfacre was challenged by Lexington Town Councilman Steve MacDougall, who was elected to council…