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Breathing a sigh of relief, Randy Newman Jr. is still acclimating to the news that he won the Republican nomination for the 6th Circuit Solicitor seat on Tuesday night, June 10.
“It feels good,” Newman said Thursday morning. “We’re very happy. My wife and I are very excited and looking forward to November.”
The final tally showed Newman with 3,157 votes, or 55.02 percent of the vote, over his challenger on the Republican ticket, Tom Holland, who had 2,581 votes, or 44.98 percent of the vote. The numbers include votes from Lancaster, Chester and Fairfield counties.
Newman is an assistant solicitor with the Sixth Circuit Solicitor’s office, while Holland is a local attorney who has served as Lancaster City Solicitor and general counsel for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Newman will face Democratic challenger William Frick in November in a bid to succeed Doug Barfield.
Looking back at his campaign so far, Newman calls it “a learning process.”
“We won, so it’s gone pretty well, but it’s definitely a learning process and there’s a lot of work left to do. We’re just happy to still be in it,” he said. “We won Lancaster and Chester, but we’ve definitely got to do some work in Fairfield. But we’re not going to slow down in any of the three counties.”
In Lancaster County, Newman tallied 2,393 votes, while Holland tallied 1,840 votes.
In Chester County, Newman also led with 379 votes to Holland’s 289, while over in Fairfield County, Holland led the votes with 452 to Newman’s 385.
On Thursday, Holland expressed disappointment with the primary results.
“Of course, it was a little disappointing for me, but I was told from the beginning that it would be hard to beat the amount of money he (Newman) had and the good ol’ boy system,” Holland said. “But to be so close was pretty positive.”
Despite the risks, Holland said he was glad to have run.
“I was hoping that experience mattered a little more than evidently it did because there is such a contrast between us in regards to experience,” he said.
When asked if he plans to one day run again for the solicitor seat, or another office, Holland’s answer is an emphatic ‘yes.’
“I’m certainly very much interested in running in the future and I’m interested in the criminal justice system in general,” Holland said. “I think it’s a very important component that is obviously not being handled well now.”
As far as local precincts go, the largest sweeps for Newman in Lancaster County were 125 votes to Holland’s 63 in the Elgin precinct; 110 votes to Holland’s 67 in the Kershaw South precinct; 103 to Holland’s 53 in the Lynwood Drive precinct; and 232 to 104 in absentee votes.
Holland led in five precincts, with 42 votes to Newman’s 40 in the Camp Creek precinct; 49 to 47 in Kershaw North; 79 to 56 in Spring Hill; 81 to 66 in Belair II; and 100 to 73 in Pleasant Valley II.
The two candidates tied in three precincts, Jacksonham (90-90), Midway (40-40) and Pleasant Hill (53-53).
Precincts with the lowest turnout on Tuesday included Carmel, with a total of only 47 votes cast, and Chesterfield Ave., which recorded only 22 total votes.
S.C House District 53 seat
Also on Tuesday, Democratic voters in Lancaster County’s Spring Hill precinct followed suit with voters in Chesterfield County to select Amy Brown as the nominee for the S.C. House of Representatives District 53 seat.
Lancaster County residents cast 15 votes for Brown and 3 votes for her challenger Anthony Waymyers, while Chesterfield County residents cast 2,078 votes for Brown and 1,984 votes for Waymyers.
Brown ended up winning the Democratic nomination by a total of 2,093 votes, or 51.30 percent of the vote, to Waymyers 1,987 votes, or 48.70 percent of the vote.
Brown is a member of the Chesterfield Town Council and has served on various local and state organizations, including the S.C. Afterschool Alliance, United Way of Chesterfield County and Pee Dee Coalition. Waymyers is a career specialist with Chesterfield County School District.
Brown will face Republican challenger Richie Yow in the general election.
Though turnout at the polls was low on Tuesday, the interest from voters was on par with previous election cycles which featured few local races, said Mary Ann Hudson, director of the Lancaster County Voter Registration and Election Commission. Of the county’s 51,647 registered voters, 5,424 (10.50 percent) cast ballots Tuesday.
“We had a great day. Turnout was low which was expected,” Hudson said. “The absentee voting has been pretty low for this time, but you expect that when the races are just statewide and above because the interest comes from local races. We’ll see that interest in November.”
After all the votes had been counted by 9 p.m. Tuesday, Hudson said there had been few problems that arose at the various precincts throughout the county.
“We had no major issues at all. Some of the minor issues were where candidates can be and what they are allowed to do at polling places,” she said. “There were also a number of questions about choosing a primary and the questions on the ballots.”
For more information about the results in all of this year’s primary races, visit www.scvotes.org for vote totals.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416