December 9, 2023


General will live on forever

Crowded education superintendent race highlights SC ballot


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are the marquee races in South Carolina’s primaries following 7 days, but several candidates are also competing for seats in Congress and for the statewide roles of education and learning superintendent, legal professional general and agriculture commissioner.

U.S. Dwelling

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice faces a fifty percent-dozen Republican challengers as he seeks the nomination for his sixth phrase. The race in the 7th District, which is anchored by Florence and Myrtle Beach, grew to become crowded following Rice was 1 10 House Republicans to assistance the next impeachment effort and hard work from then-President Donald Trump.

Rice’s prime opponent, state Rep. Russell Fry, has been endorsed by Trump. Democratic prospect and Army veteran Daryl Scott has no challengers in the key.

Yet another incumbent experiencing a fierce combat is Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, whose 1st District operates from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Mace is struggling with Katie Arrington, who received the Republican nomination in 2018 but lost in the general election to one-phrase Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham. Mace defeated Cunningham in 2020. Dr. Annie Andrews is the only Democrat functioning this year.

In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons is struggling with 3 challengers. Timmons is among the the Republican congressmen who voted towards certifying the 2020 presidential election success for Joe Biden and he has acquired an endorsement from Trump. But his opponents contend he is not conservative enough.

Trump selected Timmons around Mark Burns, a pastor who expended two several years likely to rallies to talk on Trump’s behalf. The other two candidates competing versus Timmons are George Abuzeid, a former adviser to the congressman, and retired businessman Michael LaPierre.

The lone Democrat in the race is Ken Hill, a nuclear electric power plant good quality manage inspector for the congressional district, which is anchored by Greenville and Spartanburg.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democrat in Congress, is going through two challengers as he seeks a 16th expression in the 6th District, the state’s only greater part minority district, which extends from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden is widely seen as the defining aspect that led to the latest president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic main, faces chiropractor and insurance adjuster Michael Addison and charter university instructor Gregg Marcel Dixon.

On the Republican side, legal professional Duke Buckner and marketing consultant A. Sonia Morris are looking for the nomination.

In the 5th District, which operates from Rock Hill to Sumter, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has no challengers in the principal. In November, he’ll facial area just one of two Democrats at the moment vying for their party’s nomination: Kevin Eckert, a neighborhood organizer and technician, and builder and true estate agent Evangeline Hundley. Norman has been in Congress given that 2017.

In the 2nd District, which features the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has no key opposition for the seat he has represented considering the fact that 2001. His Democratic opponent in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his marketing campaign website as a “husband, a pet dog dad, a company proprietor, a higher education soccer fanatic and a South Carolina indigenous.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan is unopposed in the main and typical election as he seeks a seventh term in the 3rd District, which addresses the northwest section of South Carolina.

In addition to the congressional races, Republican incumbents in 3 statewide offices face key worries: the lawyer general, secretary of point out and agriculture commissioner.

Legal professional Common

Legal professional General Alan Wilson is in search of a fourth term. He is challenged by legal professional Lauren Martel, who said Wilson does far more chatting than combating for conservative positions this kind of as safeguarding Accomplice monuments or combating COVID-19 vaccine mandates. No Democrats have entered the race.


Secretary of Condition Mark Hammond is becoming challenged in the Republican main by Keith Blanford, who desires to acquire the position of overseeing elections away from a board appointed by the governor and give it to the Secretary of State’s Office.

A bill that would make that changeover was proposed in the Basic Assembly this yr but under no circumstances acquired a hearing. The Republican-dominated Legislature did overhaul election laws to enable early voting.

The winner of the Republican major will experience Democrat Rosemounda Peggy Butler in the fall.


Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers has two opponents for the Republican nomination: Spartanburg County Soil and Drinking water Commissioner Monthly bill Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who is effective in the farming business.

The winner will face David Edmond of the Environmentally friendly Celebration and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Social gathering. If Bledsoe loses the Republican key, he will run in the standard election less than the Constitutional Get together. This is the very last 12 months that state law allows candidates to operate for much more than one particular party.

Education and learning SUPERINTENDENT

The two events have crowded fields following Republican Education and learning Superintendent Molly Spearman decided not to operate again just after 8 many years in the position.

Spearman often disagreed with other Republican leaders, in particular on challenges such as whether local districts should be capable to mandate masks to secure towards COVID-19. That schism has ongoing into the Republican principal.

Spearman endorsed Kathy Maness, who is government director of the Palmetto Condition Teachers Affiliation. Spearman states Maness has been a trainer and is aware of both equally the legislative process and how schools run.

Quite a few other Republican leaders have endorsed Ellen Weaver, the CEO of conservative believe tank Palmetto Assure Institute and chairwoman of the state Instruction Oversight Committee. She also has the backing of prior point out instruction superintendents Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has elevated much more than $325,000, an sum not matched by any other applicant. Travis Bedson, who owns a foundation maintenance business, has elevated about $280,000, with most of that cash coming from a $250,000 mortgage he built to his campaign, in accordance to marketing campaign finance experiences. Bedson suggests South Carolina general public faculties need to have a organization state of mind to operate much better.

Maness has raised about $115,000.

Weaver and Bedson confront yet another hurdle: Neither of them has the master’s diploma that South Carolina regulation now requires of a superintendent. Maness does. Both equally Weaver and Bedson say they are doing the job on the innovative diploma, but election officials explained there is no precedent for what happens if a single of one particular of them wins in November without the need of it.

Other Republicans jogging are Florence Faculty District 1 Board Member Bryan Chapman, Greenville County University Board member Lynda Leventis-Wells and Lexington elementary school teacher Kizzi Gibson.

Competing for the Democratic nomination are point out Rep. Jerry Govan, previous Anderson County School District 4 Superintendent Gary Burgess and Lisa Ellis, founder of the instructor advocate team SC for Ed.


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