County Council’s vice-chairman resigns; June special election set

J. Lewis Brown resigned from County Council last week. FILE PHOTO

By Bobby Bryant, Editor

A month after being sworn in for another term on Darlington County Council, District 7 representative J. Lewis Brown has resigned, saying he is taking a new job that could pose a “conflict of interest.” Brown, who has represented the Hartsville/Kelleytown area, did not say what the new job is, but said it would involve “public service.” He has been working for Hartsville-based Sonoco Products for nearly 30 years. Brown, the council’s vice-chairman, announced his resignation at council’s Feb. 1 meeting and said it would be effective immediately. A special election to fill the seat already is set, said Hoyt Campbell, Darlington County’s election chief. Filing opens at noon Feb. 19 and closes at noon Feb. 27; the filing fee is $455. The primary election will be April 13 with a runoff April 27 if needed. The general election will be June 15. “I’ve been presented with a new employment opportunity,” Brown told council. “This opportunity will not allow me to continue as an elected official due to conflict of interest. … This is not an easy decision, but one that will allow me to expand my growth in public service.” Brown thanked voters for electing him to council terms in 1988, 2016 and 2020. “No doubt these are challenging times, but we are a resilient county with a Who’s Who of employers, a great quality of life, and a population with the drive to succeed. We can all be proud to call Darlington County home.” Brown said he’s traveled more than 1 million miles during his decades working for Sonoco. “Each trip has reinforced my love and passion for Darlington County. I grew up here, I was married here and I raised my family here. …. For me, serving Darlington County is a purpose in life.” Council appointed member Le Flowers as new vice chairman.

Author: Stephan Drew

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