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2 Clarendon school board members will face off in November for open House seat

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 6/11/20

In a field of three, Kimberly O. Johnson won the Democratic primary outright Tuesday night for District 64 in the state House of Representatives.

The open House seat, for which Rep. Robert Ridgeway, D-Manning, did not run for re-election, …

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2 Clarendon school board members will face off in November for open House seat

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In a field of three, Kimberly O. Johnson won the Democratic primary outright Tuesday night for District 64 in the state House of Representatives.

The open House seat, for which Rep. Robert Ridgeway, D-Manning, did not run for re-election, featured primaries for both parties.

According to unofficial results Wednesday, Johnson received 56.2% of the vote, or 3,249 votes. Jack Furse had 28% of the vote, or 1,619 primary votes, and Robert A McFadden Sr. came in third with 15.7% of the vote, or 909 votes.

Complete absentee ballot totals for Clarendon's races were not posted online to www.scvotes.org, the S.C. Election Commission's website, until Wednesday about 5 p.m. because of report printing difficulties.

Shirley Black-Oliver, director of voter registration and elections for Clarendon County, told The Sumter Item that results didn't change from Tuesday night's unofficial counts that were released.

Johnson said Wednesday it felt great to win.

"It's the end result and culmination of a hard-working team's efforts," she said. "I told my supporters from day one that we are in this together: My victory is going to be our victory, and it's been just that."

A Manning resident and daughter of state Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Manning, who also won his primary Tuesday, Johnson said she plans to take a short break now and then will be ready for the general election in November.

Johnson is the director of community engagement with Florence-based Hope Health, formerly Black River Health Care. She is also in her second term on Clarendon School District 2 Board of Trustees and is chair of the board. If she were to win the November general election, she would be required to give up that seat on the board, she said.

Johnson will face Cindy Risher, a Summerton resident, in November.

Risher won her Republican primary with 73.9% of the vote, or 1,048 votes, on Tuesday night. Hal Cercopely received 26.1% or 370 primary votes.

"I am just overwhelmed right now and very humbled with the voters' support," Risher said. "I look forward to serving, should I win the general election in November."

Risher has lived in Summerton since 2006 when she and her husband relocated to the Lake Marion area. She's in her second term on the Summerton-based Clarendon School District 1 Board of Trustees. Risher would also vacate that board seat if she won in November.

Results will be certified later this week.