Gibson wins runoff for Sumter City Council in Ward 1 seat

Position held for 20 years by recently late Thomas Lowery, who wasn't running for reelection


A new face will represent Sumter City Council’s Ward 1 district following the results of the Nov. 22 runoff.

Anthony Gibson defeated with Joe Brown with 120 votes, or 64.52%. Brown received 35.48%, or 66 votes. Votes will be made official on Friday, according to the Sumter County Voter Registration and Elections Office.

In the midterm election, Brown won the most votes at 33.83%, or 338 votes, while Gibson was second with 26.23% votes, or 262 votes. With more the two candidates in the race Nov. 8 but no one receiving a majority of the votes (50% plus one vote), the top two vote-getters faced each other in the runoff.

A runoff is necessary when there are more than two candidates on the ballot but no one receives a majority of the votes (50% plus one vote). This is the first election the school board required a candidate to earn a majority of votes, rather than a plurality when simply the candidate with the most votes wins, even if it is under 50%.

On Nov. 8, Gibson and Brown beat Derek Gamble, Reginald "Reggie" Evans and Barbette Thomas. Evans challenged the election, but his case was denied.

Early voting played a role in the start of the spike. Gibson had 42 early votes while Brown had 19.

Gibson was at the Sumter County Voter Registration and Elections Office Tuesday as votes were tallied and posted. He shared with The Sumter Item hen is humbled and excited to get started and serve his ward and city in a larger capacity.  

“My mind is all over the place,” he said. 

This will be Gibson’s first seat in a public office. He succeeds the recently late Thomas Lowery, who passed away this month after a long battle with his ailing health. Lowery served on council for 20 years and was not running for reelection.

“I want to make sure I’m trained, so I’m going to take some classes and make sure I get certified to help put myself in a position to serve with excellence,” Gibson said. “That should be in the very near future.” 

Gibson has lived in Ward 1 since 2007 and is currently the senior pastor of Grace Cathedral Ministries in Sumter. He is also a realtor with Keller Williams Columbia, serving Sumter, Clarendon and Richland counties. 

He thanked his family, his hard-working team of Jeffrey Lampkin and Keishan Scott, as well as many other volunteers and Sumter voters. 

“To every supporter. Honestly, you can’t do it without people supporting you, so I’m humbled,” Gibson said. “I look forward to serving Sumter.”

Votes will be certified Friday, according to the Sumter County Voter Registration and Elections Office.