Democratic runoff required for county council seat

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By Vicki Brown

A run-off election between Democratic candidates Hiram EM Davis and Maryann Blake for the Colleton County Council At-Large seat will be held on June 28.

Early voting begins on June 22, 23 and 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The runoff for this democratic seat is for voters who voted in the democratic primary. Also eligible to vote in the runoffs are voters who did not vote in either primary held on June 14. Voters who previously voted must stay with the same party.

According to Director of Voter Registration and Board of Elections Angela Upchurch, a candidate must have a majority count to be declared the winner.

South Carolina Code 7-17-600 states, “No candidate shall be declared nominated in a first primary election unless he received a majority of the votes cast for the office for which he was a candidate.  The question of a majority vote shall be determined by the number of votes cast for any particular office and not by the whole number of votes cast in the primary.

“If a candidate for a single office is to be selected, and there is more than one person seeking nomination, the majority shall be ascertained by dividing the total vote cast for all candidates by two.  Any excess of the sum so ascertained shall be a majority, and the candidate who obtains a majority shall be declared the nominee.”

Plainly put, candidate Hiram EM Davis did not reach the required majority of 50 percent of the total votes cast. He must run again against opponent Maryann Blake for the same seat.

On June 16, the Colleton County Board of Canvassers certified Tuesday’s results, and though tallies changed slightly, there were not enough votes to declare Davis the official winner.

South Carolina voters did not turn out like expected to vote on June 14. Not only was this true for the state, but in Colleton County only 20 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots.

U.S. Senate Democratic seat is still up in the air with Catherine Bruce and Krystle Matthews vying for the same seat, as percentages were too close to call. They will also have a runoff on June 28.

In the Superintendent of Education race, Lisa Ellis (D) received 50 percent of the vote from Democrats, but Kathy Maness (R) only received 31 percent of the Republican votes. Ellen Weaver had 23 percent, with Bedson, Chapman, Gibson, and Levintis-Wells splitting the remaining. A runoff will be held on June 28.

Most of the other races were decided quickly, with no room for doubt as to who will be competing for seats in November.

For Governor, Joe Cunningham (D) will face off with incumbent Henry McMaster (R) in November. Cunningham received 57 percent of the Democratic vote, and McMaster received 83 percent of the Republican.

Hugh Weathers (R) will run for Agriculture Commissioner in November, Alan Wilson (R) for the Attorney General seat, and Mark Hammond (R) for Secretary of State.

For U.S. House District 1, Nancy Mace (R) took 53 percent of the vote.

In U.S. House District 4, William Timmons, (R) claimed 53 percent of total votes.

U.S. House District 5 saw Democrat Evangeline Hundley take the November election seat with 58 percent.

In U.S. House District 6, once again, James Clyburn took the Democratic seat with 89 percent of the vote, and will face off against Walterboro attorney Duke Buckner who had 77 percent.

U.S. House District 97’s seat was taken by Republican Robbie Robbins with 77 percent, and will challenge Damian Daly, with 51 percent, in November.

U.S. House District 116’s Republican seat was won by Matt Leber with 83 percent.

In U.S. House District 121, Eric Erickson won the Republican seat and will face off with Michael Rivers, 56 percent, in November.

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