• No point in running if you can’t take office

    The Democratic candidate for state superintendent of education has withdrawn from the race.
    S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Monday that Israel Romero of Spartanburg officially notified the S.C. Democratic Party and state elections officials on Oct. 17 that he was dropping out of the race.
    Romero gave no reason, but state Election Commission Chair Molly Simon confirmed that Romero was ineligible to run due to a past felony conviction.

  • ‘Blue house’ revamp

    Promise Neighborhood volunteers decked out in T-shirts featuring the slogan “Whatever It Takes” took over Brooklyn Avenue Saturday for another community workday.
    About 65 people of all ages turned up to renovate a former drug house in the area and to build a reading park just down the road.
    Hammering, shouting and the clanging of bottles could be heard all along the street as the cleanup got under way.

  • Lancaster County School Board District 5: Neil Couch

    ◆ Age: 36.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Amanda Jaillette Couch; daughter, Emma.
    ◆ Education: Graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 2000. Bachelor’s degree in business administration, USC-Columbia, 2004. Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE), 2012.
    ◆ Occupation: Equipment manager, Hoopaugh Grading Co.
    ◆ Political experience: None.
    ◆ Top issues:
    – The workload for teachers not related to teaching is heavy and should be reduced.

  • Mayor, City of Lancaster: Tamara Green Garris

    ◆ Age: 44.
    ◆ Family: Husband, Shamar; daughter, Daisha; son, Mason.
    ◆ Education: Lancaster High School graduate. Associate degree in paralegal studies, Kaplan University. Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Kaplan University.
    ◆ Occupation: Loan verification analyst 2, Wells Fargo Bank.
    ◆ Political experience: City council District 4, 10 years. Mayor pro tem, two years. Acting mayor, seven months.
    ◆ Top issues:
    The biggest issues facing the city of Lancaster are safety, jobs and education.

  • Lancaster County Probate Judge: Crystal Johnson

    ◆ Party: Democrat.
    ◆ Age: 54.
    ◆ Family:  Husband, Bart Johnson. Daughters, Amber and Jade, and two grandchildren.
    ◆ Education: Associate degree in science from USC Lancaster.
    ◆ Occupation:  Customer service representative, Springs Global, US.
    ◆ Political experience:  None.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County Probate Judge: Dee Studebaker

    ◆ Party: Republican.
    ◆ Age: 51.
    ◆ Family: Married to Tim Studebaker. A son in college and a son in high school.
    ◆ Education: Bachelor’s degree in communication, University of Arkansas, 1990. Law degree, University of Arkansas, 1993.
    ◆ Occupation: Associate probate judge, small-business owner, artist and attorney.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Mayor, City of Lancaster: Alston DeVenny

    ◆ Age: 56.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Susan; children, Miller, Sarah Katherine, Emma, Mary Alston.
    ◆ Education: S.C. public schools. Bachelor’s degree in urban studies, Furman University. Law degree, University of South Carolina.
    ◆ Occupation:  Attorney with Folks & DeVenny.
    ◆ Political experience: Mayor of Lancaster, July 2018 to present. Lancaster County Council, 1998-2006, and council chairman, 2004-06.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County School Board District 7: Ken Buck

    ◆ Age: 56.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Jill; son Ryan, 9, and daughter Aubrey, 6.
    ◆ Education: Bachelor’s degree in education from Clemson University, master’s degree in education leadership and administration from Grand Canyon University.
    ◆ Occupation: Retired teacher and administrator/education consultant.     
    ◆ Political Experience: First run for political office.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County School Board District 7: Chris Campbell

    ◆ Age:  52.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Jennifer; two children, Peter, 15, and Patrick, 13.
    ◆ Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina.
    ◆ Occupation: Technology project manager.
    ◆ Employer: FIS Global.
    ◆ Political experience: None; I am not a politician and typically stay away from politics.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County School Board District 5: Janice C. Dabney

    ◆ Age: 71.
    ◆ Family: Husband, Tommy Dabney; daughter, Pamela Trimnal; son, Alex Dabney.
    ◆ Education: Attended USCL for two years.
    ◆ Occupation: Retired CEO, Springs Memorial Hospital.
    ◆ Political experience: School board member for 18 years.
    ◆ Top issues:
    – Managing rapid population growth in the northern part of the county.
    – Addressing teacher concerns: pay, professional development, classroom disruptions, workload, retention, smaller student-teacher ratios.