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Batesburg-Leesville has swearing in of new team to govern town while one council race still undecide

Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – Lancer Shull was sworn in last night as the new mayor of the Lexington County town of Batesburg-Leesville. Along with Shull, four new council members were sworn in and one more will be selected in a runoff election on Tuesday, November 21.

As Shull was sworn in, his wife held the Bible and he was flanked by his children. As he swore to defend the constitution, the laws, and the government of the land, a standing-room only crowd looked on. After the formal portion was completed by the town’s legal council Chris Spradley, he received embraces from his family and former Mayor Rita Crapps. She presented Shull with a small badge identifying him as the mayor, and he had the privilege of awarding her several tokens for her many years of service to the people of the town.

Next, Linda DeLoach was sworn to District One. She ran un-opposed for the seat. The incumbent decided not to seek re-election. DeLoach returns to Council after stepping down in 2013. She was first elected to represent District 1 in 2010 to serve the remainder of an unexpired term. After Ms. Deloach was welcomed and embraced by the outgoing councilmember,others gathered around to congratulate her. She then took her seat at the dais.

Next, Councilmember Steve Cain was sworn. Cain was first elected to represent District 3 in 2005. He was re-elected to his 3rd term in 2013 and later won a special election in 2015. Last Tuesday, the voters elected Mr. Cain for his 4th term in office to serve the citizens of the 3rd District. Cain was welcomed back to his seat where he will remain until 2021.

In Council District Five, Shirley E. Mitchell was sworn in as that area’s representative. She defeated the incumbent Bob Penick last Tuesday. She was first elected to town council in 1997, and served until resigning in 1999. Tuesday, Ms. Mitchell rejoined council flanked by several of her family members. Her current term will expire in 2021.

In Council District Six, Jim Mitchell joined the town council to fill the remaining unexpired term for District 6. That seat was held by Chip Spradley until his recent resignation. Mitchell will fill the remaining unexpired term of Spradley which expires in 2019. He too was congratulated by family friends, staff, and the other councilmembers before taking his seat.

In Council District Seven, Jason Prouse was elected to fill the seat when the incumbent Meggie Ricard decided not to seek re-election. Prouse was also flanked by his young family as he took the oath of office. He quickly took his seat,!eager to get to work on the business of the town. His term will expire in 2021.

In District Eight, former Councilmember Jim Wiszowaty also resigned from his seat. Magen M. Hallman ran un-opposed for that seat to fill the unexpired term. She was flanked by her family which included a young daughter who didn’t seem ready to share momma with the town at the moment. Perhaps a small chair beside mom’s at the dais will help in the months ahead.

Once Shull took up the gavel, several contentious issues arose between Councilmember Cain and the town’s staff and other councilmembers. This is not a rare occurrence, but Shull handled it with poise and authority. It remains to be seen what the months ahead will bring for this council who has a great deal on their plate in the coming months and years. It seems as if Shull has both the nerve, the backbone, and the energy to lead the council as it tackles those with the assistance of the town’s staff.

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