Two candidates for the Sumter County Council District 1 seat will go head-to-head in a runoff on June 23 after none of the three vying for the seat received enough votes to win outright.
First-time candidate Carlton Washington received the most votes, and incumbent Chris Sumpter received second-most in the primary election held June 9.
South Carolina is a majority voting state, which means a candidate must win 50% of the vote plus one vote to win. If that doesn’t happen, the two candidates with the most votes will appear in a runoff, which is set for June 23.
On the Democratic primary ballot, Washington received 45.32%, or 969 votes, and Sumpter came in second with 32.04%, or 685 votes. Caleb Kershaw is out of the race after only receiving 22.64%, or 484 votes.
“I think people are ready for a change,” Washington said. “We have some real serious problems in District 1.”
Washington said he thinks he got support because the people of District 1 are tired of paying tax money and not receiving essential services for road maintenance, their schools and more. He said the district’s community is being flattened by the struggles it's facing, and the current representative hasn’t addressed these issues.
Washington said it’s going to take a lot of work and be difficult at first, but he’s ready to take on the runoff with the people of District 1 standing by his side.
The winner of the runoff will not face opposition in November.
“When I take office, it’s not me taking office,” Washington said. “It’s the people of District 1. We are coming.”
Sumpter ran for office four years ago in 2016 and is running this year to continue serving his district.
“Team Sumpter is honored to have the support rendered. However, we have to make it to the finish line,” Sumpter said. “We pride ourselves with a track record of proven leadership. We believe in putting people over politics, character over color and business over bureaucracy. We need leaders that will move our county forward not backwards and look out for everyone, not one.”
District 1 residents can vote for either candidate at the runoff on June 23.
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