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Voters in Lexington School District Two return three incumbents to school board but one was defeated

West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) - Voters in Lexington County School District Two returned three incumbents to the school board Tuesday but it appears as if one challenger defeated the other incumbent. District Two covers the schools of the Cayce and West Columbia areas. 

Four spots on the school board were up for grabs and three of the incumbents were running for reelection. Those incumbents included Beth Branham, Cindy Kessler, and Kevin Key. Board member and current Chairman William H. “Bill” Bingham Jr.  did not run for re-election.

There were six challengers who filed to run against the incumbents. They were Abbott “Tre” Bray, Liz Chitty Castles, Page Salonich, Charles “Chuck” Hightower, Robin Milton, and Johnny Payne.  

At 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, poll results showed that Beth Branham and Cindy Kessler had retained their seats and would serve on the board four more years. Challenger Liz Castle won a seat and Tre Bray took the other edging out incumbent Kevin Key by 283 votes.

The vote totals were as follows: 

1. Cindy Kessler 9,355 

2. Beth Branham 8,952 

3. Liz Castles 7,352 

4. Tre Bray 5,715 

Incumbent Kevin Key had 5,432 ballots cast in his name. Because this was an at-large election and the candidates that received the four highest numbers of votes won the seats, Key lost his seat to Bray. 

These results were as of 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. They will be certified later this week. The totals did not show any absentee mail in votes counted. No other race in Lexington County showed those figures either. Those absentee votes may have been combined with the in person absentee totals.

These numbers are not expected to change much, if at all, prior to being certified.

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