Politics

Local leaders sign regional transportation resolution to seek millions from state infrastructure bank

City and county leaders are presenting a united front in an effort to improve transportation in the Midlands as they seek a $336 million grant from the state. “This marks a historic day in the Midlands,” said Richland County Council Chairman Norman Jackson. “This project will foster economic competitiveness, enhance citizens’ quality of life and create a stronger economic base…

Pat McKinney withdraws from lieutenant governor race

After nearly securing a spot in the Republican primary runoff for South Carolina lieutenant governor, Pat McKinney announced his intention to leave the race. The candidate issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying he instead wanted to focus on family. “After much thoughtful prayer and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the race for lieutenant governor. The primary campaign was hard…

Richland County primary elections avoid major problems

Only 15 percent of Richland County’s registered voters cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primaries, but most who did found no problems at the polls. Samuel Selph, interim director of the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Office, takes questions from reporters Tuesday. (photo by Allen Wallace) “We had a great day after a rocky start,” said Samuel Selph, interim director of…

Adams re-elected as Richland County treasurer; Douglas, McLeod Spires re-elected to state House of Representatives

Incumbent David Adams won another term as Richland County Treasurer on Tuesday. Adams defeated Joe McEachern II in the Democratic primary, and with no Republican candidate on the November ballot, he automatically takes office again. Incumbent state Rep. MaryGail Douglas will return to the state House of Representatives as the Democratic representative from District 41. Douglas defeated William Budda Killian…

U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson, Jim Clyburn easily win U.S. House nominations

Incumbent U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson and Jim Clyburn easily won their primary races Tuesday. Wilson, seeking a seventh term in Congress, defeated Eddie McCain with 82 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Wilson will face Phil Black in November. Black defeated Ed Greenleaf in the Democratic primary. According to unofficial results, Clyburn defeated Karen Smith with 86 percent…

Republicans Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham to face off against Democratic challengers Joyce Dickerson, Brad Hutto for U.S. Senate seats

Incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham avoided a runoff and won his primary outright Tuesday, while Sen. Tim Scott took an easy win in his as well. The Republican senators will be challenged in November by state Sen. Brad Hutto and Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, respectively. Graham overcame six challengers to win a majority of the primary vote. He will face…

Gov. Nikki Haley celebrates education reform plan to improve reading, technology access in South Carolina

Gov. Nikki Haley lauded the passage of her landmark k-12 education reform initiative as a step toward closing the achievement gap in South Carolina. Nikki Haley speaks about the passage of her education reform package at a Logan Elementary School celebration. (photo by Kelly Petty) “We can no longer in South Carolina educate children based on where they live,” she…

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina GOP leaders tout ‘American dream’ at Republican dinner

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told South Carolina Republicans on Friday night that the party has an opportunity to turn back the past six years of President Barack Obama’s administration in November. “I think right now the American people are frustrated. They’ve been told year after year the recovery is coming tomorrow, and it hasn’t come yet. College is getting more…

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Rep. James Smith propose plan to help South Carolina veterans with health care problems

South Carolina Sen. Vincent Sheheen said Tuesday that with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in a state of dysfunction, South Carolina leaders must “stand in the gap” and do all they can to help veterans in the Palmetto State. Sheheen and state Rep. James Smith are proposing a plan to do just that. Smith will ask the state House…

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott endorses Sheheen for governor, criticizes Haley’s handling of DSS

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has endorsed Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the race to be South Carolina’s next governor. Sheriff Leon Lott (file photo by Allen Wallace) The Sheheen campaign’s first television ad, now airing all over South Carolina, features Lott as the only speaker. “Children are dying, children Nikki Haley’s administration is supposed to protect,” Lott says while video…

3 more enter Lexington County coroner race

Before filing for the office of Lexington County coroner closed Friday, three more Republicans entered the race. The full list of candidates now includes Margaret Fisher, Jay Phillips and Jason Willoughby. Fisher, a senior deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, is a longtime resident of Lexington County. She is also a member of the department’s Community Action Team and the Lake…

Gov. Nikki Haley declares support for ‘rock star’ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley expressed her support Wednesday for embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, referring to Christie as a “rock star.” Gov. Nikki Haley (file photo by Allen Wallace) Haley’s comments came at a news conference in New York, where she and Christie are attending a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. Christie has come under fire and…

Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller defends agency, refuses to resign

Lillian Koller, director of the South Carolina Department of Social Services on Wednesday said, “I respectfully decline to resign” after testifying before a state senate panel investigating her agency. Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller (photo provided) State Sens. Joel Lourie and Vincent Sheheen have called for Koller to step down after recent controversies involving DSS, including the deaths…

Sheheen outlines plan for changes to Department of Social Services, repeats call for director’s ouster

South Carolina senator and gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen on Tuesday repeated his call for Gov. Nikki Haley to fire Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller and laid out his own plan to, as he put it, “rebuild a very dysfunctional and troubled agency.” Senator and gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen (file photo by Kelly Petty). A Senate panel has heard…

Protesters call for same-sex marriage recognition by South Carolina government

Tuesday was the deadline to pay federal and state taxes, and legally married same-sex couples in South Carolina were required by the state Department of Revenue to file as single on state tax returns. South Carolina Equality Executive Director Ryan Wilson (at lectern) leads protesters in removing their wedding rings in support of marriage equality Tuesday (photo by Allen Wallace)….

Gov. Nikki Haley signs Emma’s Law

The crusade led by the Longstreet family to toughen South Carolina’s DUI laws has ended in victory Monday. David Longstreet spoke to Emma’s Law supporters at a State House rally April 2 as Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins (standing, far right) looked on. (photo by Allen Wallace) Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill known as Emma’s Law, making the bill…

Emma’s Law passes Senate, heads to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk

The Emma’s Law bill is just one step away from becoming South Carolina law. David Longstreet spoke to Emma’s Law supporters at a State House rally April 2 as Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins (standing, far right) looked on. (photo by Allen Wallace) The South Carolina Senate approved the bill unanimously Wednesday. Senators had approved it once before but had…

State Republican Party balks at fees for public records regarding Richland County elections office

The South Carolina Republican Party denounced the actions of Richland County officials Thursday for failing to release information regarding state Sen. Joel Lourie’s involvement in the county’s elections office. State GOP Party Chairman Matt Moore called the county ombudsman’s request for $1036.86 for emails, phone messages and other communication between Lourie and county election board members “outrageous.” “Charging in excess…

Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Vincent Sheheen urge Obama administration to fund Aiken County nuclear waste disposal plant

Gov. Nikki Haley and state Sen. Vincent Sheheen recently agreed that the federal government is not upholding its agreement to fund a nuclear waste project that could affect over 1,800 South Carolinians. Nikki Haley speaks out Tuesday against the federal government’s decision to decrease funding for the MOX nuclear waste facility. (photo provided) Haley, along with U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson,…

Gov. Nikki Haley signs new military homeowners tax bill

Gov. Nikki Haley gave tax relief to South Carolina’s military families after she signed a new bill that would preserve active duty service members’ property tax rate on unsold homes. The Military Homeowner Protection Act of 2014 guarantees that active duty soldiers who are required to move to fulfill orders would maintain the 4 percent property tax assessment granted to…

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…