It’s not often that the most eventful part of a mid-term election is the outcome of school-district board races.
That was the case in Laurens County, where the District 55 board chair, Susan Calhoun-Ware, fended off a strong challenge from David Underwood in Seat 6.
Two newcomers, Cathy Little in Seat 2 and Mark Earle in Seat 4, will join the board in positions vacated by Mike Fortune and Jim Lollis.
“I’m anxious in every race,” Calhoun-Ware said. “I never take anything for granted, and I don’t take it lightly.
“Let’s hope everybody is there for the children we serve. I don’t have any hidden agendas. I’m going to be forever there the kids. They’re my first priority.”
Calhoun-Ware won re-election with 57.08 percent of the vote, defeating Underwood, 794-588. She will serve her seventh four-year term.
The newcomers received higher shares of the vote than the incumbent. Both Little and Earle earned just over 63 percent of the vote. Little got 1,190 votes to 505 for Jim Moore and 180 for Bessie Eaddy Williams. Earle received 846 votes to 482 for Steve Cole.
In each race, the winner won every box but one. In Seat 2, Little won every precinct except Gray Court. In Seat 4, Earle won every precinct except Trinity Ridge. In Seat 6, Calhoun also won every precinct except Trinity Ridge.
“I don’t know if I felt confident,” Little said. “I felt that I had done the best that I could do. I had talked to as many people as I could. … I knew that whatever happened tonight, it was God’s plan for me.
“A couple of things that I want to do I are try to fix our discipline problem in District 55. I feel that is our biggest concern, and that’s an area I want to focus on. Another would be making sure that our community and our district are working together and respect one another because I think we’ve lost that.”
The school-board elections were non-partisan. The three District 56 incumbents – Tammy Stewart in Seat 5, Jan Bridges Simmons in Seat 6 and Keith Richardson in Seat 7 – faced no opposition.
Elsewhere on the county ballots, Republicans won everything, and without opposition. The three S.C. House Districts that cover part of the county will be represented by incumbents Mike Pitts in District 14 and Mark Willis in District 16 and unopposed newcomer Doug Gilliam in District 42.
Returned to office in the same fashion were Probate Judge Kaye W. Fridy, Auditor Jim Coleman and Treasurer Cynthia M. Burke,
County Council seats went without opposition to Republicans Kemp Younts, Stewart Jones and Jeffrey Carroll.
Laurens County voters passed the ballot measure that would allow temporary alcohol sales on Sunday in unincorporated areas of the county by a margin of 10,961-8,894. The “yes” votes represented 55.21 percent.