Baccus re-elected to council, overcomes Watson’s challenge
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
Darlington City Council member Sheila Baccus overcame a challenge by former Darlington police chief Danny Watson in the Nov. 2 elections, winning another term by a 3-1 margin. Unofficial results showed Baccus defeating Watson 359-98 in the Ward 1 City Council race. In an interview before the election, Watson told the News & Press he was running a positive campaign and not criticizing Baccus. “I’m not throwing sticks or stones at anybody,” said Watson, who got endorsements from former mayor Tony Watkins and former Major League Baseball player Orlando Hudson, a Darlington native. “We need to work together as a council,” said Watson, who was making his first run for elected office. “ … We’re losing folks to other places. What can we do to attract people here?” Baccus declined to be interviewed before the election. But in promotional materials, she described herself as “a voice for the people … working to move Darlington forward.” She cited her work to beautify Darlington, get sewer lines repaired, get streets repaired and noted that she opposed the city’s decision to raise water fees during the pandemic. In a statement after the election, Watson said: “Needless to say, it didn’t work out like we hoped. However, we tried, and we obviously had an opponent who worked very hard, and for that, she should be congratulated! I’m so proud to live in a country where you can choose to run for office. I wish council member Baccus luck moving forward.” Baccus, in an online statement after the election, called it “victory for all of Darlington. … This is just the beginning. You guys showed up and showed off and sent a message that you can’t send anything to our neighborhoods and think we will fall for it again.” Two other Darlington City Council seats were on the Nov. 2 ballots. In Ward 2, council member Elaine Reed was re-elected with 127 votes. She had no opposition. In Ward 3, council member John Segars was re-elected with 272 votes. No one filed to run against Segars, but about 10 days before the election, Carla Elvington, a former president of the Darlington Chamber of Commerce, launched a write-in campaign for the seat. In Facebook posts, Elvington praised Segars’ service on council, but suggested that he needed a break. Elvington received about 13 write-in votes.