Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Williamsburg County citizens turned out in low numbers to cast their vote in the democratic and republican primaries. US Sen. Lindsey Graham easily won the GOP nomination and US Sen. Tim Scott won his race that may lead to his becoming the state's first elected black senator. US Rep. Jim Clyburn won the democratic primary in the 6th Congressional District.
However, a runoff will occur for lt. governor between former State Attorney General Henry McMaster and Mike Campbell, son of the late Governor Carroll Campbell. Pat McKinney dropped out of the race last Thursday citing personal reasons. Republican candidates Sally Atwater and Molly Spearman are headed to a runoff as well as democrats Sheila Gallagher and Tom Thompson for Superintendent of Education. The local races included county supervisor and two county council seats.
After provisional ballots were counted Thursday, incumbent Stanley Pasley eased by Brown with 2,930 votes to 2,779 votes. “Yes, team work does make the dream work,” said Pasley, recapitulating his challenger's campaign slogan. Pasley thanked the citizens for their support saying it was because of them the county will move forward. “The citizens have shown that we are about proven leadership in moving our county forward. We are beyond the days of listening to negative campaign rhetoric. I am honored to serve the citizens of Williamsburg County as supervisor and look forward to working together with everyone in the days ahead as we continue to build a better Williamsburg County.”
Challenger Ted Brown congratulated Pasley but voiced his disappointed with voter turnout. “We are thankful for our voters and we congratulate him (Pasley). We are convinced that the people in Williamsburg County want to live in poor conditions,” said Brown. “The voters have spoken and they said they liked their poor conditions.” Brown added that God told him what to do and “we did that and we're going to be fine.” County Council incumbent W.B. Wilson narrowly beat J.J. Dukes 553 to 536 votes. The win will give Wilson his sixth term as a county councilman. County Councilman Franklin Fulmore defeated challenger Sulondia “Sue-Ham” Hammond by a 461 - 395 margin. Fulmore has served on council seven terms.
In Williamsburg County, voter turnout stood at less than 30 percent with only 6,244 voters casting their vote out of the 17,160 registered in the 29 precincts, plus absentee ballots. Voters participating in primaries across the state is generally low. From 1998 to 2012, state primaries saw on average under 25 percent, with the exception of the 2008 presidential primary where 42 percent voter participation. Though the total is better than past years, when taken into account the total number of registered voters is 21,406, the turnout is still weak. State voter participation information provided by www.scvotes.com