Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) When dawn breaks Wednesday, the government of the small town of Batesburg-Leesville will look very different than what it has been in the past. A large part of the makeup of the town council has changed as of today, and the town has a new mayor to oversee the government.
Lancer Shull won the mayor’s race with 497 votes while his opponent Charles Simpkins received 423. Shull is an actor and a computer programmer while Simpkins is a preacher. Mayor Rita Crapps had decided not to re-run for professional and personal reasons for that position again. Neither of the two men that vied for that seat are new to government as both served on the local school board.
In the council races, Linda Deloach is the councilmember for District One. She was running unopposed.
In District Two, Olin Gambrell won votes 85 votes or 44.04% while Tripp Williamson came in second with 59 or 30.57%. In that town, because neither pulled 50% plus 1 votes, there will be a runoff for this seat.
In District Three, Stephen Cain won the seat with 60 votes while Gale Gibson came in a close second with 53.
District Five pitted Shirley Mitchell against Bob Penick for an open seat. Mitchell won with 58 votes and Penick took second place with 38 votes.
In District Six, Jim Mitchell ran against Tillman Gives for a vacant seat. Gives won that race with 65 votes while Mitchell came in second with 55.
District Seven saw two candidates vie for that council seat. It was Nicholas Hallman against Jason Prouse. Prouse won with 63 votes and Hallman took second place with 35.
Finally, in District Eight, Megan Hallman who was unopposed won the seat with an undisclosed number of votes.
These number are the final count and are unlikely to change before certification is complete. .
Town Manager Ted Luckadoo said recently that the town had spent a great deal of time preparing for the turnover in their government. There hadn’t been some wholesale coup, rather some councilmembers had moved out of the area while others simply decided not to re-run.
Each new councilmember will immediately receive some digital and print material that has been especially prepared for them. This will help bring them up to speed with the inner workings of the town. Additionally, the SC Municipal Association has all types of training available should the newly elected decide to avail themselves of it.