A guide to the June 9 Democratic and Republican primaries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Darlington County League of Women Voters produced this Voters Guide to the Democratic and Republican primaries as a public service.

The primaries are June 9. Responses are in the candidates’ own words.

Race: U.S. House, District 7 – Primary (D)
Candidates:

Melissa Ward Watson
Party: Democratic
Mailing address: P.O. Box 12961, Florence, SC 29504
Campaign phone: (843) 779-2198
Campaign e-mail: info@melissawatsonforcongress.com
Campaign website: http://www.melissawatsonforcongress.com
Facebook: http://Melissa Watson for Congress

Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: My top three legislative priorities are economic development, infrastructure and the environment. The wages are too low in District 7. While the unemployment rate was around 3 percent before COVID-19, the poverty rate was as high as 31 percent. Improving our crumbling infrastructure is also important. In the 7th District there have been more than 12 floods in three years. Lastly, we must never allow offshore oil drilling, and we must protect our waterways from pollution.
Q: What have you learned about the handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and how would you help prepare our country for similar pandemics in the future?
A: First, we need to fund the National Pandemic Office. We need to do more research on how to combat these deadly viruses, and we need to understand how fragile our economy is. When businesses go bankrupt after being closed for 2 months, what do you think will happen to average Americans? The second lesson I have learned is that the government response has not been stellar. The government was unable to act quickly enough to provide the stimulus money, emergency food stamps or unemployment.
Q: Would you support improvement of access, coverage and cost containment for health care, and if so, how?
A: Absolutely. We have to overhaul our health care system. We need to make sure that prescription drugs are affordable and that we drive healthcare costs down. The only way to do that is to do away with the for-profit system. I am open to supporting a range of options that will lower costs.
Q: What measures do you support to improve and secure elections and voting in our country?
A: I really like the paper ballot system in S.C. You don’t have to worry about people hacking the system or ballots being lost.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: First, we have to raise wages, and we have to truly invest in small business. We need to increase funding for the Small Business Association. By growing our small businesses, we can guarantee economic improvements to the area. Small business invest local, hire local, and sponsor local. Big corporations kill small businesses and take money and investment out of the community.

Robert Williams
Party: Democratic
Mailing address: 328C Blatt Building, Columbia, SC 29201
Campaign phone: (843) 734-3142
Campaign e-mail: robertwilliamssc7@gmail.com
Current job: Member of South Carolina House of Representatives representing District 62
Campaign website: http://www.robertwilliamsforcongress.com

Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: Health care. I believe health care is a Constitutional right. I support expansion of the ACA and decreasing the eligibility age for Medicare to 60 with limitations on prices of prescription drugs. Environment. Protecting our environment will create new jobs in renewable energy and help in more affordable housing. Equality. Our country remains a country of unequal access to jobs, compensation, health care and housing. I believe prosperity for all begins with equal opportunities for all.
Q: What have you learned about the handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and how would you help prepare our country for similar pandemics in the future?
A: In all things, the life of every single person remains what matters most in all that we do to prepare and protect our country and humanity from the threat of disease. We are far from finished with COVID-19 and the potential for another wave is inevitable. In that regard we must stress the process of testing, tracing and isolation as science continues to develop a vaccine to thwart the virus. Transparency in government is a must. The truth always matters and especially when we are all at risk.
Q: Would you support improvement of access, coverage and cost containment for health care, and if so, how?
A: Yes. I believe building on the ACA is the most expeditious path to making sure every person has access to quality health care. Attempting to “recreate the wheel” in this environment of political divisiveness will only slow the progress made to-date and put millions of people at risk. By expanding the ACA to include a reduction in age eligibility for Medicare to 60 with limits on the costs of prescription drugs I believe we can quickly respond to the crisis in health care we currently face.
Q: What measures do you support to improve and secure elections and voting in our country?
A: Foreign interference in elections remains a real challenge. However, the amount of money in elections is the primary threat to fair and transparent elections. The influence of money from lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) continues to poison the process of electing the best people to political offices. Limiting the amount of “soft” and “dark” money and ensuring the independence of the Federal Election Commission are key components to maintaining the health of our elections and Republic.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: The foundation for increasing job opportunities demands ensuring equality — equality in pay, opportunity, education and “location.” Job creation in rural areas and areas where high levels of unemployment are reflected has been a focus of mine since I entered public office. Expansion of new, environment-focused employers and promotion of assisting small businesses are two key areas in this effort. A minimum wage should be a living wage — this demands an immediate raise in the federal minimum wage.

William H. “Cowboy” Williams
Party: Democratic
Campaign phone: (843) 430-5590
Current job: Retired
Campaign website: http://Williamhwilliamsforcongress.com
Facebook: http://Www.facebook.com/WilliamHWilliamsForCongress

Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: A. Health care. B. Coronavirus. C. Economy/job creation.
Q: What have you learned about the handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and how would you help prepare our country for similar pandemics in the future?
A: A. Faster response: Scientists are saying a faster response would have been more helpful. B. Know what works to contain the virus: Widespread early testing, social distancing early to “flatten the curve.” C. Civil liberties faced some great tests. Many countries implemented some form of surveillance or censorship to help fight the coronavirus. Self-sufficiency matters and the world cannot beat the virus without cooperating.
Q: Would you support improvement of access, coverage and cost containment for health care, and if so, how?
A: Yes, I would support the improvement of access, coverage and cost containment for health care. And the how is: I would expand Medicaid to all with a public option to keep their own insurance. Coverage would include all preventive services. Increase competition to contain the cost.
Q: What measures do you support to improve and secure elections and voting in our country?
A: Voting by mail, purchase the most modern voting machines, update the cybersecurity to prevent hacking, and make sure those operating the polls have been trained according to the rules and regulations for that state.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: I will look at creating jobs utilizing hemp, which can used to make over 25,000 products and I will reach out to companies to bring them to communities.

Race: S.C. House, District 60 – Primary (D)
Candidates:

Teresa McGill Cain
Party: Democratic
Mailing address: 3698 Westpointe Drive, Florence 29501
Campaign phone: (843) 615-2059
Campaign e-mail: voteteresamcgillcain@gmail.com
Current job: Career Specialist with Florence District 4

Q: What experiences and skills qualify you to represent the citizens of House District 60?
A: Qualifications: I am a resident of Florence County and I am over 21. What experiences and skills qualify me? For over 30 years, I have worked in customer service entities. I understand the importance of fairness for all people. I am a Certified Career Specialist, Facilitator for Lee County First Steps Strengthening Families Program and a minister. I earned an MBA and BS management degree. Worked in banking (finance) for over 14 years.
Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: If elected, the mission and purpose is to empower, develop and improve communities, education and business entities. I will work for fairness of our communities to have affordable housing for all people, recreational centers and quality facilities for senior citizens. I will work for equality for education rights of all people, not some. For example, some schools are over 50 years old, with lack of resources needed for students to get an education. Next, businesses are lacking for growth.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: I would increase job opportunities by offering training programs in all work clusters. If a facility is not available in rural or minority areas, I would suggest building career centers within the communities for training. I would propose to seek a grant that will assist with training, coaching and seeking applicants qualified to teach in these areas. For example; Retired teachers, nurses, electricians, plumbers, computer technology, welding and other entities.
Q: What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?
A: I would encourage constituents to work together as well as leaders of the community. I will support positive changes to the betterment of all constituents. I continue to reach out to communities by offering tools and resources needed to increase their awareness. I would like to work closely with leaders of Florence County to evaluate and collaborate on ideas that are beneficial for all. I will voice the opinion of the communities and what they want.

La’sha McClain
Party: Democratic
Mailing address: 1044 W. Saint Paul Road, Lamar SC 29069
Campaign phone: (843) 307-5343
Campaign e-mail: lashamcclain5@yahoo.com
Facebook: http://Lasha McClain Democratic Candidate D60

Q: What experiences and skills qualify you to represent the citizens of S.C. House District 60?
A: I have taught in the educational system, I have been part of Columbia’s parking enforcement unit, and none of that has any merit on the skills I have to represent D60. What I do have that makes me more than qualified is having been a resident of this outstanding community for most of my life. I have attended the schools here, I have coached youth football here, and my kids are proud active members of this great district.
Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: My first priority would be to get funding for rural community youth centers. Second is the legalization of medical marijuana [taxes from this can fund the centers]. (And) increasing state minimum wage.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: Work with different manufacturers and businesses to see the value in working in such a great district that is strategically located for convenient commercial traffic.
Q: What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?
A: Along with increasing minimum wage, I want to help create a program that encourages small businesses to invest in our great district.

Race: S.C. Senate, District 29 – Primary (R)
Candidates:

J.D. Chaplin
Party: Republican
Mailing address: 3524 Hartsville Highway, Darlington SC 29540
Campaign phone: (843) 858-0264
Campaign e-mail: Votejdchaplin@gmail.com
Current job: Row-crop farmer
Campaign website: http://Www.votejdchaplin.com
Facebook: http://Vote JD Chaplin

Q: What experiences and skills qualify you to represent the citizens of S.C. Senate District 29?
A: As a farmer, I know how challenging and difficult it is to run a successful small business, especially these days. I’ve struggled to make payroll at the end of the week. Like many of you, I’ve suffered the ramifications of policies mandated by Columbia that wound up doing more harm than good.
Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: As your next state senator, my main focus will be on our public education system and local infrastructure. An important first step in improving education would be allowing parents to choose which school their child attends (public, private or charter), with the money following the student. A ZIP code should never determine a child’s future. Education is the key to breaking the poverty cycle, and we can’t do that with the barely adequate education standards Columbia requires.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: (No response)
Q: What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?
A: The biggest challenge in our area is the quality of life. Downtown stores and shops are closing; people are moving away. We can overcome this problem by first improving our education and infrastructure. We’ve got to give people a reason to stay here. We must make this a good place to do businesses. We have affordable land, easy interstate access, and a population that’s ready to work. All that’s needed is to make our community a place where companies want to build their team. And we can do it.

Ronald Reese Page
Party: Republican
Mailing address: PO Box 403 Darlington, SC 29540
Campaign phone: (843) 393-5969
Current job: First responder, City of Darlington
Campaign website: http://Www.pageforsenate.com

Q: What experiences and skills qualify you to represent the citizens of S.C. Senate District 29?
A: I’ve worked in business management, education (substitute teacher), sales, firearms industry, auto industry, and currently serve protecting life, property and stabilizing incidents as a first responder in the City of Darlington. I am able to relate with diverse groups of people and I believe heavily in the importance of teamwork and the solving of problems rather than the seeking of credit.
Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: Education, employment, and infrastructure. We need to stop demonizing trade schools when the reality is they prepare students for readily available, well-paying jobs, in less time, and with less debt than many four-year schools. Skilled jobs are waiting to be filled while infrastructure suffers and unemployment rises. Regardless of my committee assignments I will work with chairmen: Sen. Alexander, Sen. Grooms, Sen. Hembree, Sen. Leatherman and their committee teammates to solve these issues.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: I will work with Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee Chairman Sen. Alexander and his team to resolve issues and increase job opportunities for the district while also collaborating with local governments in Chesterfield, Darlington, Lee and Marlboro.
Q: What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?
A: I will focus on others and be respectful to their issues. I know that not all issues can be solved at once and I will learn of new ones once elected. I believe that by working as a team we can overcome these challenges and continue to work towards educated and employed citizens proud of their community and the future they have paved for themselves.

Race: S.C. Senate, District 36 – Primary (D)
Candidates:

Eleazer Leazer Carter
Party: Democratic
Mailing address: 9 Green Lake Drive, Manning, Clarendon 29102
Campaign phone: (803) 410-0832
Campaign e-mail: eleazercarter@aol.com
Current job: The Carter Law Firm
Campaign website: http://eleazercarterforsenate.com
Facebook: http://Eleazer R. Carter

Q: What experiences and skills qualify you to represent the citizens of S.C. Senate District 36?
A: I am an attorney and have been practicing law for more than 30 years. I have worked with and interned for members of the House of and Senate right out of college and as an attorney for the Senate Penology Committee Chairman (Sen. Theodore Mitchell). I am familiar with our laws and statutes. In daily meetings with both clients and citizens in general, I am extremely familiar with the concerns of the community. I pay attention proposed to statutes that impact other parts of the community.
Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: At the moment, I would like to strengthen our unemployment laws and make benefits available for those in need. I would (steer) all legislation toward job creation. I would place a high demand on teacher pay raises and other state employees. I would demand that we as state officials pay attention to technical education after high school as well as traditional four-year colleges. I would ask our senators and House members to find solutions to ensure child support … to include retraining of the unemployed.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: Because I am close to my retirement years I would allot a great amount of time and attention on seeking and finding industry to come to our state. I will seek to pass legislation that would give tax breaks to companies that want to come to this state and to companies that may threaten to leave our state.
Q: What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?
A: By employing the masses with livable jobs we can move toward and create a stable middle class. There is nothing that strengthens and supports an economy like an employed and strong middle class.

Kevin L. Johnson
Mailing address: PO Box 156, Manning, SC 29102
Campaign phone: (803) 410-1253
Campaign e-mail: kevin27@sc.rr.com
Current job: S.C. senator
Campaign website: http://johnson4senate
Facebook: http://Kevin Lorenzo Johnson

Q: What experiences and skills qualify you to represent the citizens of S.C. Senate District 36?
A: I served on many boards and commissions in our region. I served 12 years on the Clarendon 2 School Board, six years on Manning City Council, 11 years as mayor of Manning. I served one term in the S.C. House of Representatives and I have been a member of the S.C. Senate since 2012. My record of service is extensive and I’ve received much recognition for it over the last 30-plus years.
Q: If elected, what would be your top three legislative priorities?
A: My top three priorities continue to be education, health care and economic development/jobs.
Q: How will you work to increase job opportunities for your constituents?
A: I will continue to support and provide the resources to the Department of Commerce to recruit and retain industries in our area and throughout our state. I will also continue to work well with our local economic development teams.
Q: What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?
A: As a member of the Senate Finance Committee I will continue to support responsible budgeting that appropriately funds our state agencies and our reserve and contingency accounts.

Race: Darlington County Council District 1 – Primary (R)
Candidates:

Angie Stone Godbold
Mailing address: 119 Brittain Road, Darlington SC 29532
Campaign phone: (843) 758-0472
Campaign e-mail: askgodbold@yahoo.com
Current job: Domtar Paper Co.
Campaign website: http://voteforangie.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/angie.s.godbold

Q: Why do you think you are the best choice to represent the citizens of District 1 on our County Council?
A: The time is right for community-based leadership efforts. District 1 needs and deserves a responsible, reasonable representative that makes decisions for today with a futuristic mindset that benefits all residents. I bring an all-embracing community perspective and the skill set to make marked improvements and measurable progress for not only District 1 but the county as a whole.
Q: What experiences qualify you to represent the citizens on our County Council?
A: Born and raised in District 1, I have a deep passion and commitment to see our community thrive. With our tax base, there is simply no excuse for our county seat to be stagnant and in a current state of disrepair. With over 25 years of experience in operations management/budgeting, business relations and marketing, I am well-equipped for identifying and understanding changes that need to be made and know how to tackle research, develop and implement a critical plan of action.
Q: What do you believe are the most important issues facing the county now and in the future? How would you propose to address them?
A: Darlington, specifically District 1, has become complacent and is in survival mode. There has been minimal, at best, collaborative efforts between county and city councils to combine efforts and initiatives. It is essential, and with the latest onset of COVID-19, it is nearly mandatory, that our current governing systems work more efficiently together. Our economic status dictates every aspect of being a resident – it is past time our district had an effective partner in representation.
Q: What are your ideas on how to help the county to grow and prosper?
A: There is great work to be done and change is urgent! We need a transparent, efficient government focused on critical modifications to our spending habits, working towards a safer community, and combining efforts with our City Council. Leveraging our economies is a huge cost savings – MILLIONS – and will maximize the value of every single tax dollar. It is time for a collaboration of all efforts in forming a partnership of shared objectives and values for all citizens.

Bobby Kilgo
Party: Republican
Mailing address: 106 James St., Darlington, SC 29532
Campaign phone: (843) 250-7123
Campaign e-mail: robertkilgo@att.net
Current job: Darlington County councilman, District 1

Q: Why do you think you are the best choice to represent the citizens of District 1 on our County Council?
A: Over the past 50 years, I have worked to improve the city and county I love. I have had to make tough decisions that sometimes were not popular, but I felt it best. My job as a councilperson is to ensure that people are treated fairly by the county employees and receive the services they need. As a council, we hire one employee, the county administrator. We now have a talented, caring administrator. As a council we are in unison on most issues; I hope this will continue.
Q: What experiences qualify you to represent the citizens on our County Council?
A: Experience can come in many ways. Mine is through education, work, political and civic service. I have continued to study throughout my life. I have been blessed to receive a great education. My work as an attorney has taught me to always treat it as a service to my clients. My political experience has been service on Darlington County Council on two different occasions of eight years each. My civic service has been with the Kiwanis Club, Downtown Redevelopment and many other organizations.
Q: What do you believe are the most important issues facing the county now and in the future? How would you propose to address them?
A: At present, the coronavirus is the most pressing issue. The county government has worked very hard to provide for its citizens and protect them. Hopefully this time will be over very soon; but we must be prepared if it returns. With council’s guidance, the administrator is preparing us. As to long term issues, our community needs to work together. This can be done by coming together and having open discussions among various groups. Lastly, council needs to continue to encourage economic growth.
Q: What are your ideas on how to help the county to grow and prosper?
A: As I remarked in the last question, economic growth is important. It can be accomplished by new industry or enhancements in our present companies. Sonoco, Nucor and Georgia-Pacific have announced plans for expansion. Our location near the Dillon Inland Port allows us to pursue many different types of businesses. Economic growth fuels new jobs. New jobs increase employment. Increased employment decreases poverty and we all become winners.

Race: Darlington County Council District 5 – Primary (R)
Candidates:

Joe Ard
Party: Republican
Mailing address: P.O. Box 231, Darlington, SC 29540
Campaign phone: (843) 687-4000
Campaign e-mail: joe.ard@yahoo.com
Current job: Adjunct instructor with FDTC, assists Hope Health medical facility in Florence
Facebook: http://Joe Ard

Q: Why do you think you are the best choice to represent the citizens of District 5 on our County Council?
A: I truly care about people and want to be in the forefront of making this county a better place to live and work. We need to stop giving massive pay raises to certain county employees and stop giving the County Council pay raises. I will focus on creating family-sustaining jobs that families can live on while protecting our current jobs and farmers in the area. I will vote to bring District 5 the needed changes that our citizens so richly deserve.
Q: What experiences qualify you to represent the citizens on our County Council?
A: I have served and volunteered at the local and state level of government for the past 30 years. I have the management experience to understand the processes of government. I am a retired lieutenant from state law enforcement and adjunct instructor with Florence-Darlington Technical College. I have attended the S.C. Certified Public Manager Program and state and federal disaster training. I currently serve as a volunteer teaching hunter safety classes at the Swift Creek Fire Department.
Q: What do you believe are the most important issues facing the county now and in the future? How would you propose to address them?
A: We need to fix our roads, bridges and drainage system to keep our quality of life enjoyable and sustainable. We need to keep good working people on the job without putting the tax burden on the property owners. I would address this by working with federal, state and city representatives in securing grants and funds to repair our infrastructure. We need to extend sewage lines to rural areas, revitalize our community and promote our tourism, businesses and farms for a stronger economy.
Q: What are your ideas on how to help the county to grow and prosper?
A: We need economic growth at our industrial park at I-20 and Timmonsville Highway. Improving our infrastructure, revitalizations and beautifications of our current and future property to attract new businesses will be a top priority. We need to extend our current sewage lines to outlying areas to promote new building projects. This can be done with the help of federal, state, county and city officials working together to make a safer, prosperous community and county.

Le Flowers
Party: Republican

Q: Why do you think you are the best choice to represent the citizens of District 5 on our County Council?
A: I grew up on a family farm and continue to live on a farm. I do not farm but I understand the challenges of a rural district. My experience with government, local public education and owning and operating a business in the county gives me a background to effectively serve on council.
Q: What experiences qualify you to represent the citizens on our County Council?
A: I have lived in Darlington County my whole life. I served with the Air Force and the South Carolina Air National Guard for six years. I served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I taught school, coached sports, played a ton of sports, and have owned and ran a business as well as having raised two kids all in Darlington County. I know this county and its people.
Q: What do you believe are the most important issues facing the county now and in the future? How would you propose to address them?
A: The most important issue facing Darlington County is the growth of the budgets of the school district, county, and municipalities. The demands for services and the ever-increasing cost of those services is a huge challenge. Where are the funds going to come from? Currently the county operates on approximately 25 percent of the total tax revenue, increasing taxes is counterproductive in the long run, so the answers become increased efficiencies, better technology and innovation in processes.
Q: What are your ideas on how to help the county to grow and prosper?
A: The best way for the county to grow and prosper is for the government to get out of the way of private enterprise. Our citizens are ambitious, talented and hard-working. We should as county officials do everything we can to encourage them to excel, not place burdens on them. A county government that is efficient, competent and respectful of its citizens is the best tool we have.

Race: Darlington County Sheriff – Primary (D)
Candidates:

Tony Chavis
Mailing address: PO Box 2857, Hartsville, SC 29551
Campaign phone: (843) 307-3357
Campaign e-mail: sherifftonychavis@gmail.com
Current job: Darlington County Sheriff
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SheriffTonyChavis/

Q: What would be your top priorities (name two or three) in directing and managing our county’s law enforcement function?
A: Improving public safety in every community to include crime watches with the citizens getting to really know the deputies and staff at all levels of the Sheriff’s Office; managing tax dollars and resources wisely and building a relationship with the county administration and County Council that had previously been lacking and restore transparency; and widening community policing and implementing outreach programs at a county level that has never been done or tried before in our county.
Q: Why did you select the above priorities?
A: I have worked to create safer communities, build stronger ties with all residents and lay the foundation for a brighter future in Darlington County. I understand the responsibility of managing the Sheriff’s Office budget and the importance of investing in deputies to keep us safe every day. I have improved training, upgraded equipment and added technology to the Sheriff’s Office. I have created partnerships and strengthened the Sheriff’s Office’s reach in all communities across our county.
Q: Why do you believe you should be elected or re-elected to the position of sheriff?
A: With over 30 years’ law enforcement experience, I have dedicated my life to protecting and serving people and improving public safety across all of Darlington County. I feel I have restored honor, integrity and trust with the community. I have always tried to make a difference in everything I have ever done. Darlington County has trusted me to bring the change that was needed to the Sheriff’s Office and I do not take that lightly. The citizens of Darlington County can always count on me.
Q: How would you propose to reduce the county’s crime rate, both violent and nonviolent?
A: Focusing on prevention of crimes and violence in the education system at all levels. Avoid worsening crimes through increased community involvement and rehabilitation of offenders when applicable. Sentencing in our county should fit the crime. Sentencing and punishment should be prompt, and sometimes more severe (though not cruel) and served in full.

James Hudson Jr.
Mailing address: 2525 North Center Road, Hartsville SC 29550
Campaign phone: (843) 206-7494
Campaign e-mail: Jameshudson@jameshudsonjr.com
Current job: Patrol commander
Campaign website: http://Www.Jameshudsonjr.com
Facebook: http://James Hudson Jr. for Darlington County Sheriff

Q: What would be your top priorities (name two or three) in directing and managing our county’s law enforcement function?
A: My top priorities once becoming sheriff would be: First, to reduce the crime rate across the county. Secondly, I’d like to again engage our youth in productive activities that would boost their self-esteem, garner their respect and reduce incarceration. And third, I’d like to end the frivolous spending and restore an open-door policy.
Q: Why did you select the above priorities?
A: The citizens of Darlington County deserve to feel safe. Lower crime rates will help entice new businesses to our area: Re-establishing Darlington as a safe place to live, play and do business. Our youth are our future. So, it is important that we partner with business and community leaders to work closely with our youth to help them make better choices. Being transparent in our governing of affairs by recommitting to an open-door policy and ending frivolous spending only strengthens our county.
Q: Why do you believe you should be elected or re-elected to the position of sheriff?
A: I believe I should be elected sheriff of Darlington County because I am the most experienced candidate. As a lifelong Darlington County resident, I am passionate about serving my community. I received my bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Coker College. My career in law enforcement began 25 years ago as a Darlington County Detention Center correctional officer. I spent over a decade of my law enforcement career in leadership roles, including serving as chief of police for the city of Hartsville.
Q: How would you propose to reduce the county’s crime rate, both violent and nonviolent?
A: There are several measures I intend to implement once in office; for instance, establishing patrol zones. Patrol zones reduce response times and allow officers the opportunity to get to know the residents in a particular area. In this way they develop a rapport with the citizens and establish good communication. I also intend to reinstate the reserve officers program. Reserve officers are certified through the Criminal Justice Academy and they can assist with night patrols and answering calls.

Author: Rachel Howell

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