Kershaw elects new mayor

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Rhodes: ‘We can start moving forward’

By Jenny Arnold

KERSHAW – The town of Kershaw has a new mayor and two new council members.

Wayne Rhodes won the mayor’s race in a special election Tuesday. He won with 240 votes, to Jody Connell’s 54, and Pam Johnson’s 23. Rhodes has served as a councilman on Town Council in the past.

In the District 2 race, Michael Cook won with 32 votes to Sherry Hunter’s 16.

Former Town Councilwoman Genny Hendrix will serve once again on council, winning the at-large seat with 175 votes to Sonya Poole’s 134.

Rhodes, who has lived in Kershaw for 34 years, is looking forward to getting to work as mayor.

The plant superintendent at ADM in Kershaw, Rhodes, 57, said he believes he’ll bring management skills to the table as mayor.

He expects a more cohesive council than in the past with all council members working together.

“I think the statement was made (in the election) that we are ready for change,” Rhodes said. “We can start moving forward.”

Rhodes said he’s ready to tackle the maintenance issues at the town’s wastewater treatment plant, which has been cited for violations by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Rhodes wants to hold work sessions to set up short-term and long-term plans for the town.

He said this council will be much more open, not only with the public, but with town officials and fellow council members.

“We’re all in the same group,” Rhodes said. “We’re going to work as a team. Everyone’s excited about it.”

Town Administrator Tony Starnes said there are about 800 registered voters in Kershaw, with about 200 voters in each district.

The town needed a special election after Tommy Baker resigned as mayor and Rose Marie Baker and  Jabo Sims resigned their respective council seats. The three resigned at the same time in April.

They never gave a reason for their resignations, but some believe they resigned because of a potential power struggle with new Councilmen Morris Russell and Randy Seegars taking seats on council in April after the town’s regular election.

Rhodes, Hendrix and Cook will be sworn in during a special meeting Aug. 3.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Arnold at jarnold@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151