MANNING - This year will be a busy year for elections in Clarendon County with two municipal elections, one school board election, seven county offices and the sixth district congressional seat up for grabs.
A change in the election laws that took effect on Jan. 1 will have an impact on several elections, including the municipal and school board elections.
Last year, state lawmakers repealed a 2003 law that required local governments to call off any general or special elections when only one candidate had filed. Beginning Jan. 1, elections will be held for all unchallenged races to allow write-in candidates on the ballots.
The first race of 2018 in Clarendon County will be held on March 13 for two seats on the Clarendon School District 3 Board of Trustees. Only the incumbents have filed to run for their respective seats. William Evans will run for the District 33 seat, while George E. Frierson III will run for the District 34 seat. All balloting will take place at Turbeville Town Hall.
Clarendon School District 3's Board of Trustees is unique in Clarendon County because it is the only school board with an all-elected board. Clarendon School District 2's Board of Trustees is solely appointed by the Clarendon County Board of Education, and the Clarendon School District 1 board is comprised of five elected members and four members who are appointed by the county's Board of Education.
Manning and Summerton will hold municipal elections on April 3.
In Manning, three seats are up for election. Only the incumbents for each seat have filed to run, including Diane Georgia for District 2, Ervin Davis Sr. for District 3 and Julius Dukes Jr. in District 5.
According to Manning City Administrator Scott Tanner, Manning's election bylaws include a petition to run as a write-in candidate that must be filed on or before Feb. 16.
Manning will still be required to adhere to the state's new law regarding write-in candidates, according to the Clarendon County Voter Registration Office.
In Summerton, three council seats and the mayor's position are up for election. Incumbents Lionel Chalmers Stukes, Bryan Rembert and Michael Walker Wells have filed for their respective seats on council, and incumbent Mayor Mac Bagnal has filed to run for mayor. All voting for the Summerton Municipal Election will be held at Summerton Town Hall.
Clarendon County will have 10 races on the ballot for the June 12 primary. The filing for these positions will open at noon on March 16 and end at noon on March 30.
The positions on the June ballot will include the Clarendon County Council seats currently held by Billy Richardson, W.J. Richardson and Benton Blakely, the auditor's position held by Patricia Pringle, the treasurer's position held by Matt Evans, the Third Circuit Solicitor's Office held by Ernest "Chip" Finney III, the state House seats held by Robert Ridgeway and Cezar McKnight and the Sixth District congressional seat held by James Clyburn.
Because of the recent death of Coroner Hayes Samuels Jr. midway through his second term as coroner, that position will be added to the June ballot.
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