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Kershaw election set for Tuesday

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By Jesef Williams

KERSHAW – Kershaw residents will head to the polls Tuesday, March 12, to decide the look of Town Council for the next few years.

Three seats are up for election this year – District 3, District 4 and an At-Large seat.

Jody Connell, Charles Stroud and William “Bill” Walters II are vying for District 3. Harvey Truesdale is running unopposed in District 4 while Eddie Coates faces no opposition as he seeks a second term for his At-Large seat.

Candidates for Kershaw Town Council run on a non-partisan basis. The terms are four years each.

Voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kershaw Recreation Center, 200 Close Circle.

Here is a look at the three candidates vying for District 3.

Jody Connell

This is this second time Connell, 53, has run for Town Council.

Four year ago, he lost the District 3 race to Randy Seegars, who’s not running this time because of health reasons.
Connell says he stays abreast of the town’s affairs and believes he has an advantage because his father, J.S. Connell, once served on council.

“I’ve always been kind of interested in politics,” Connell said. “I feel I can contribute town growth ”

Planning for the expected economic boom from Haile Gold Mine and working to grow Stevens Park would be high on his priority list if elected.

“Make sure we continue to have a balanced budget and to be proactive with Haile Gold Mine,” he said.

Connell has worked for 16 years at the Suominen plant in Bethune. He and his wife, Sharon, have five children who range in age from 2 to 19.

Charles Stroud

Stroud, who’s seeking elected office for the first time, believes his community ties will serve him well as a councilman.

“I hope I can be an asset to the town,” Stroud, 81, said. “I’m a fair man, an honest man, a Christian man.”

If elected, Stroud wants to help see the town benefit from the influx of people tied to Haile Gold Mine (Romarco Minerals), which is looking to secure a final permit for  its mining process to become fully operational.

However, Stroud said he would work to get another industry to come to the area. He also sees a need for more everyday retail in Kershaw.

“I’m just wanting to see everybody work together,” he said.

Stroud, a native of the Flat Creek community, worked for years for Springs Industries and DuPont. He’s been retired since 1991.

He and his wife, Marcie, have two grown daughters, four grandsons and four great-grandsons.

Bill Walters

After a career in law enforcement, Walters says he now has the time and freedom to delve into politics.

As an S.C. Highway Patrol trooper, Walters, 57, was naturally encouraged to shy away from elected office. But now retired, he’s ready to share his views on issues that affect Kershaw.

“I’ve always had to sit on the sidelines and watch,” Walters said.
“I’m a people person,” he said. “A lot of the people in the town know me.”

Walters lists jobs as his top concern.

He would like to see another major industry come to the area to complement the hundreds of jobs anticipated through the gold mine.

Walter worked for the now-defunct Kershaw Police Department and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office before joining SCHP in 1997. He retired in 2011 and now works as an production manager at Rico Industries in Heath Springs.

He and his wife, LeAnn, have two school-age sons.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152

Town of Kershaw voters will head to the polls Tuesday, March 16 to choose three town council seats. Here’s what you need to know:     

  •  Votes will be cast at Kershaw Recreation Center, 200 Close Circle. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

u This is the first time Kershaw voters will be required to follow South Carolina’s new voter photo ID law. The forms of photo ID that are accepted include a driver’s license or DMV-provided ID, a passport, a military ID, or a special voter ID card. Student ID’s or any other photo ID will not be accepted.