BISHOPVILLE - Bishopville has a new mayor after Tuesday's nonpartisan general election for city positions.
Grady A. Brown received 295 votes to become mayor as he ran unopposed in an election that saw 221 combined write-in ballots for the post, …
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Grady A. Brown received 295 votes to become mayor as he ran unopposed in an election that saw 221 combined write-in ballots for the post, according to Lee County Voter Registration and Elections Director Stan Barnhill.
Brown, who served on Lee County Council for eight years before serving District 50 in the state House of Representatives representing parts of Lee, Sumter and Kershaw counties, said he is "eagerly awaiting" being sworn in on July 1.
"Hopefully, we can do some things to make Bishopville look better, make it more conducive to new business and shopping in the city itself," he said.
When Brown retired from the House after 32 years, the barber and businessman was the longest-running representative in the state.
He will succeed Alexander C. Boyd, who did not vie for re-election. Boyd became Bishopville's first black mayor in February 2010 in a special election to fill the void left by the death of Tom Alexander and won a full term unopposed in 2011.
Brown said he had "no intentions of ever running for public office again" after retiring from the House. Then, people started asking him to run for mayor. In a "small community of business people and homeowners," he heeded their calls.
"I was eating breakfast one morning with some guys in February, and one said have I decided yet," he said. "About a week later, I told them I would."
He said he wants to help bring Main Street back to the glamour it used to have.
"We have 22-to-24,000 cars a day go down North and South Main Street. If we can make one out of every 10 stop to dine or shop but, before you can shop, you've got to have shops," he said. "If I didn't think I could help Bishopville and make it a better place to live in and work in and raise our families in, I would not have run."
A total of 629 ballots were cast out of 2,293 voters who were registered for Tuesday's election, according to Barnhill, which included selections for Bishopville City Council's six posts.
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