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Table set for 2014 partisan races

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By Denyse Clark

The filing deadline for state and federal candidates, along with four county races in this year’s election was noon Sunday, March 30 

Candidates for the S.C. House of Representatives, Lancaster County Council and Lancaster County Probate Judge filed with the county voter registration office while those for federal, statewide and multi-county offices filed with the S.C. State Elections Commission.

In this year’s General Election, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) will face Democratic challenger Tom Adams for the Fifth Congressional District seat. 

The Fifth District includes Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Newberry, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and York counties. 

At one time, there was a local tie to a national race, but Lancaster native Rick Wade announced in March that he would not run against U.S. Sen. Tim Scott in the 2014 General Election. 

Wade said the timing of his entrance into the U.S. Senate race had “compressed the calendar too much to raise the money needed to mount a serious challenge.”

Lancaster County Probate Judge Sandra Estridge, a Democrat, is faced with opposition in November from Republican challenger Jerry Holt, a member of the Lancaster County Planning Commission and Indian Land Action Council. 

“With almost two decades in office, I’m proud to serve the people of Lancaster County. This is my way of giving back,” Estridge said. “I look forward to advancing this office further. I’m not ready to retire. I have more years to give to the people. I hope people will vote for experience. I’ve got the experience.”

Holt said it’s time to bring positive changes and improved services to Lancaster County Probate Court and he has an agenda to get results. 

“I will use my experience in public service and business management to make the court more pro-active in addressing issues, especially related to seniors, veterans and families in crisis, as well as using technology to make the office more user-friendly and will better inform the public about issues which fall under the jurisdiction of the probate court.”

Lancaster County Council seats

Three County Council seats are up for reelection this year and there will be races for two of them. 

Charlene McGriff, a Democrat, is unopposed for the Lancaster County Council District 2 seat. 

In District 4, Republican John Hess will challenge incumbent Democrat Larry Honeycutt. 

Honeycutt said making the decision to seek another term wasn’t easy.

“My friends and some other people wanted me to do it,” he said. “I thought about not doing it at first, but if they think I’m doing a good job, I’ll do it. I’ve talked to John (Hess) and we’ve decided we’ll have a clean race.” 

Hess also explained why he is seeking the County Council seat. 

“We must take the time to do the thing we’re called to do to make a difference for the good of all people,” he said. “I have a quote from John Maxwell on my wall that says, ‘How can I add value to other people today?’ One way to do this is to become a public servant.”

In the Lancaster County Council District 6 race, incumbent Democrat Jack Estridge faces opposition from Republican Gary Horton.

“I’ll finish my third term this year and I know it’s a long time to be in office, but the things you accomplish, you feel good about and the things you didn’t finish, you want to finish,” Estridge said. “I don’t feel I’m ready to give up. I’d like to serve the people.”

Horton, a first-time candidate, explained why he’s running.

“I had never been involved in county government until the landfill episode came along. At that time, a group of concerned citizens, including myself, banded together to oppose the landfill,” he said. “After attending many council meetings during the landfill debate, I decided to run for County Council. I know I can make a positive difference in Lancaster County.”

Three to vie for solicitor

Three candidates – William Frick, Tom Holland and Randy Newman Jr. are seeking the Sixth Circuit Solicitor’s job. The Sixth Judicial District includes Chester, Fairfield and Lancaster counties. 

Frick, a Democrat, will face either Holland or Newman, who will vie in the June 10 Republican primary.     

“Obviously, a primary has to be held first to see who will be on the (General Election) ballot,” Frick said. “I’m glad filing is over and we’ll see who’s on the Republican side in November.” 

Newman said after much prayer and discussions with his family, he decided to run.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my community as assistant solicitor and I am ready to step up to the role of solicitor,” he said, “My goal is to make sure that justice is served fairly and without delay. My top priority will be to keep our communities safe for our families.”

Holland, also a former assistant solicitor, expressed his sentiments about the primary campaign.

“I’m excited about running,” he said. “I feel that my 19-plus years of experience and my background uniquely qualify me for the position.”  

 

Contact reporter Denyse Clark at (803) 283-1152