County elects new sheriff; Senator fends off a close challenger
Darlington County voters elected a new sheriff and nearly ousted a powerful state senator in the Nov. 3 general election – balloting that set records for both total turnout and early voting.
Democratic nominee James Hudson Jr. will be the county’s sheriff beginning in January, after he defeated GOP nominee Michael August 49.3 percent to 45.2 percent in unofficial returns. Supporters of current sheriff Tony Chavis, who lost the Democratic nomination in June, ran a write-in campaign for him that captured about 5 percent of the vote.
Democratic state Sen. Gerald Malloy of Hartsville, arguably the county’s most powerful politician, lost Darlington County to GOP rival J.D. Chaplin, a Hartsville farmer in his 20s who has never held office. According to unofficial returns, Chaplin won 51.8 percent of the Darlington County vote, to Malloy’s 48.5 percent.
But Malloy’s district represents parts of other neighboring counties as well, and those voters boosted Malloy to victory. In Marlboro County, Malloy won an estimated 5,792 votes, and in Lee County, an estimated 3,512 votes. Final (but unofficial) totals have Malloy winning re-election by 53 percent in districtwide voting.
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