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Knight takes Chapin ousting one-term Mayor Skip Wilson

Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) One of the most contentious elections in recent memory is over. The voters of Chapin have spoken, and David Knight will be the mayor for the next four years. Knights volunteers worked tirelessly and got out the vote when it was needed to put him over the top ousting Skip Wilson who had been a lightning rod of controversy since the day he took office.

This position is so important in Chapin because of the town’s form of government. A strong mayor system means that the mayor runs the town with the advice and assistance of the council. In many Lexington County towns, they have a council form of government where all members of council have an equal say, including the mayor.

The passion, anger, and sheer hate that filled this race pitted three for the seat. One was the incumbent mayor Skip Wilson who seemed to draw the anger of so many so often. The second was beautiful, bright, college student Shayla Flores, who obviously has a great future ahead, and the third was Knight, the former attorney for the town who represented a return to the government before Wilson made his major changes over the last four years.

When all the votes were counted, Knight had received most of the votes. He received 177 votes to make him the mayor for the next four years. Wilson received 104 to be unseated after his first term, and Flores garnered a mere 35 votes to come in third.

Now that Knight has been elected, perhaps the healing will begin, and some common sense will return to neighbors who turned against neighbors over something they heard or read on Facebook. In order for things to get better, it seems as if there will have to be some face-to-face talking about the issues of growth, planning, congestion, and most importantly how to communicate among one another when disagreements arise. It’s apparent that social media is not the best way for that communication to take place.

In the council race, all three men seemed to be well versed on the issues and qualified for either of the two open seats. In the end, Preston Baines received the most votes assuring him a seat on council while Al Koon took the second highest votes at 156, and the second seat. Dever, a virtual unknown, lost after receiving just 114 votes; a respectable turnout for a man almost no one knew 6 weeks ago.

This is a great town little town with a great future. I just hope that everyone realizes that the change has already happened, and now the question of how to best deal with it needs to be answered. Knight certainly has the education, he’s an attorney by trade, and he was the town’s attorney for many years so everyone will be watching closely to see what the man who had been quoted as saying, “I will never run for public office,” will do.

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