Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – As some of you may be aware, the filing for the spring primaries closed at noon on March 30th. That means that every candidate that plans to run for office has made his intention known by filing the appropriate paperwork and paying the fees with the elections commission. Unless some unforeseen technicality occurs, these are the people whom you will have to select from in the primary election on June 12th. Once that election occurs, the slate will be set for the general election in November unless there are some runoffs.
Why, many of you might ask, would I even bother going to the polls in June. Maybe you think your vote doesn’t really matter; WRONG! Your vote can mean a big difference in all local elections. There are recorded instances where just a handful of votes swung the election one way or another. To have your say, to do what’s right, to protect your freedoms, you have to get out there and make your choice!
Perhaps you consider yourself a Democrat and since there aren’t many little D’s running on the list included below, you think, “I’ll just sit this one out.” For the elections that matter the most in your daily lives, that is probably the most terrible idea imaginable! In Lexington County, in most every local race like our county council, that is a terrible path to take. Because there aren’t any Democrats running for those offices, whoever wins the Republican primary in June will be unopposed in November! That means that during the General election, you will have on your ballot the Republican who won in June versus BLANK. This vitually makes the June primary the election!
The county council positions are the races right now that have the most direct influence on your life day-to-day. They are the people who make the decisions that regard all the vehicles with the blue seals on the doors and even the big, five-pointed stars decals with the blue lights, your ambulances and fire trucks, that’s the county council. They may not oversee the deputies that come when you call, but they supply the money that makes that response possible. Those tractors that fix the dirt roads, those men and women who trap the strays, the people that staff where you take your trash, all that’s controlled at least in part by your county council. They make the rules about what can be built where and who and how it can be built, or even if it can be built at all! All that is the county council. Not having your say when you can help select those people is just plain scary.
Probably the elected positions that are the next closest and available for the common people are the representatives at the SC State House. In the representative races, there are business people, moms, dads, or the retired guy down the block that does your business at the state level. You see them at church, their business, or mowing the lawn. They help make the laws that govern the state and you should be able to get them on the phone if you want to talk, complain, or make your voice heard. If you can’t, you may want to think about voting them out! Most of these, with a few exceptions on the fringes of the county, are all Republicans as well. You really can make a difference, but only if you turn out in June at the primary polls.
The state-wide offices like governor, attorney general, and secretary of state also matter a lot! The governor in SC can veto the budget line-by-line. He has some heavy-hitters he or she appoints, and if they have lots of experience, they also know the innerworkings of what makes our system tick, and therefore how to get things through the other branches of government. Here, Democrats do run so you have a few more choices if you lean a little left or swerve more toward the right.
Finally, the US Congress seat that represents us is up for grabs again. Congressman Joe Wilson has held that position for years. There rarely is any Republican willing to take on a long-time incumbent so all the opposition is usually a Democrat. If you don’t like the job that Congressman Wilson is doing, you once again need to vote in June to select the person who will go up against him in November.
Here’s who’s filed and for what: (Note: Many are booked on Good Morning Lexington County with The Lexington Ledger soon)
Lexington County Council District, 02
Larry Brigham (I)
Lexington County Council District, 07
Lexington County Council District, 08
Ned Tolar (I)
Glen M Conwell
Lexington County Council District, 09
M Todd Cullum (I)
State House of Representatives, District 71 LEXINGTON & RICHLAND
Nathan Ballentine (I)
State House of Representatives, District 87 LEXINGTON
Paula Rawl Calhoon
State House of Representatives, District 89 LEXINGTON
Micah Caskey (I)
Billy R Oswald
State House of Representatives, District 96 LEXINGTON
Kit Spires (I)
Alan Wilson (I)
William D Herlong
Secretary of State
Mark Hammond (I)
Henry McMaster (I)
John Yancey McGill
U.S. House of Representatives, District 02
Joe Wilson (I)