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Elder, Hood vie for City Council seat

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By Jesef Williams

Political newcomer Anthony Elder is challenging incumbent Kenny Hood for the District 1 seat on Lancaster City Council.
Hood won the seat in a special election in 2008 to succeed longtime Councilman Preston Blackmon, who died earlier that year.
District 1 is the southern-most district in the city. It includes areas along South Market Street, South Main Street and Kershaw-Camden Highway.
City Council seats are non-partisan, which means candidates don’t run by political party.
Anthony Elder
Elder, 45, said he’s running because he believes he can make a difference in the community.
He said he has a four-year plan that calls for reducing crime, beautifying neighborhoods and strengthening businesses within District 1.
Prostitution and drugs plague many of the neighborhoods, he said.
“I want to take out the trash,” he said.
Elder said Hood doesn’t have a plan for the district, nor does he have the business skills to help people get jobs.
“I have a plan,” Elder said. “I have a team of advisers – older people I listen to for wisdom. I’m gaining a whole bunch of momentum.”
Elder said he feels very strong about his chances of winning on Election Day.
“I have a weak opponent,” Elder said. “I can bring a lot to the city. I should have ran for mayor.”
Elder is self-employed, operating Personal Touch Detailing, LLC in Lancaster.
He is single and has a 10-year-old son, Daniel.
Kenny Hood
Hood, 52, points to a number of accomplishments he believes has moved the city forward during his time on council.
Those include the renovations at the old Lancaster Presbyterian Church, infrastructure improvements on Taylor Street and the more than $100,000 awarded for enhancements at Southside Park.
Hood said he also championed the addition of extra police officers to specifically combat gangs and drugs.
“I just want to continue,” he said. “Just imagine what I can do in four years.”
If re-elected, crime prevention and jobs will be top priorities. Less crime will increase the city’s chances of luring major companies.   
“We have good law enforcement,” Hood said. “We got to take care of them like we want them to take care of us.”
Hood has lived in the district his entire life and said he’s well connected to the people there.
He feels strong about his chances of being re-elected.
“I started campaigning as soon as I got in the seat,” he said. “The work I’ve done speaks for itself.”
Hood worked for Springs Industries for 25 years and is self-employed in real estate.
Hood is married to Virginia. He has five grown children and 10 grandchildren.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152