As filing ends, 2020 races come into focus
By Bobby Bryant
The June primaries may wind up getting pushed back as the coronavirus crisis threatens to derail America’s election schedules, but whenever the local primaries take place, now we know who’ll be running in them.
The deadline for filing to run in the primaries was March 30. The list of candidates contains a few surprises and the prospect of some tough battles, but it’s mostly good news for incumbents, as many prominent Darlington County officeholders have no opposition.
First, the surprises: While county Clerk of Court Scott Suggs isn’t being challenged by anyone for re-election, his wife, Angie L. Suggs, is taking on incumbent Auditor Margaret Rogers. This race will play out in the fall, since Angie Suggs is running as a Republican and Rogers as a Democrat.
And although this matchup was announced earlier, prominent County Council member Bobby Kilgo is being challenged by Angie Stone Godbold, daughter of famed 50-year Darlington firefighter Jim Stone. They both want the District 1 council seat.
This battle will be decided in the primaries, since both are Republicans and no Democrat has filed.
A robust fight is shaping up in the race for Darlington County sheriff, as incumbent Tony Chavis faces challengers both in the primaries and the general election.
In the Democratic primary, Chavis will face James Hudson Jr., a former Hartsville police chief. The winner of that contest will face Republican law-enforcement veteran Michael B. August in the general election.
Two Republicans are competing for the right to face powerful Democratic state Sen. Gerald Malloy of Hartsville in the general election. Darlington-area residents J.D. Chaplin and Ronald Reese Page both want the GOP nomination for Senate District 29.
The list of incumbents who won’t face challengers in this election cycle is fairly long.
It includes Clerk of Court Scott Suggs, Coroner Todd Hardee, Treasurer Jeff Robinson, County Council District 3 representative Joyce Wingate Thomas, County Council District 7 representative Lewis Brown, state Rep. Robert Williams of Darlington (House District 62), House Speaker Jay Lucas of Hartsville (District 65) and state Sen. Hugh Leatherman of Florence, whose District 31 includes a portion of Darlington County.
Here is the complete list of candidates who filed to run in Darlington County races, including some state lawmakers whose districts include parts of the county:
Auditor: Margaret Rogers (D) (incumbent); Angie L. Suggs (R)
Clerk of Court: Scott Suggs (D) (incumbent)
Coroner: Todd Hardee (D) (incumbent)
Treasurer: Jeff Robinson (R) (incumbent)
Sheriff: Tony Chavis (D) (incumbent); James Hudson Jr. (D); Michael B. August (R)
District 1: Bobby Kilgo (R) (incumbent); Angie Stone Godbold (R)
District 3: Joyce Wingate Thomas (D) (incumbent)
District 5: Le Flowers (R) (incumbent); Joe Ard (R)
District 7: Lewis Brown (R) (incumbent)
S.C. HOUSE SEATS
District 54: (Includes a portion of Darlington County) Patricia Moore Henegan (D) (incumbent); Sterling McDarmid (R)
District 55: (Includes a portion of Darlington County) Jackie Hayes (D) (incumbent)
District 59: (Includes a portion of Darlington County) Terry Alexander (D) (incumbent)
District 60: (Includes a portion of Darlington County) Philip Lowe (R) (incumbent); Lasha McClain (D); Teresa McGill Cain (D)
District 62: Robert Williams (D) (incumbent)
District 65: Jay Lucas (R) (incumbent)
S.C. SENATE SEATS
District 29: Gerald Malloy (D) (incumbent); J.D. Chaplin (R); Ronald Reese Page (R)
District 31: (Includes a portion of Darlington County) Hugh Leatherman (R) (incumbent)
District 36: (Includes a portion of Darlington County) Kevin Johnson (D) (incumbent); Eleazer Leazer Carter (D); Leon Winn (R)