Darlington County prepares for upcoming elections
By Stephan Drew, Editor
Darlington County is preparing for a significant political event—the upcoming council elections. As the political landscape continues to evolve, the county is poised to play a role in shaping the state’s future. With a rich history, diverse population, many new candidates, and a deep-seated commitment to civic engagement, Darlington County is primed for an exciting electoral season.
Darlington County has a rich political history that dates back to its founding in 1785. Over the centuries, it has witnessed numerous elections that have contributed to the county’s growth and development. From the antebellum era to the civil rights movement, the county has, at times, been at the forefront of pivotal political moments in South Carolina’s history.
Elections in Darlington County have historically reflected the state’s broader political trends, making it an important barometer for South Carolina politics. With a population of around 65,000 residents, the county’s votes carry significant weight in state elections.
The upcoming elections in Darlington County promise to be highly competitive and closely watched, with several key contests at play:
The office of Mayor of the City of Darlington has 3 candidates vying for the position in this election: Darlington Mayor Curtis Boyd is seeking reelection and, is being challenged by Damain Prince and Scott Pruitt.
There are 3 At-Large seats in the Darlington City Council up for grabs:
Bryant Gardner, John Milling and Howard J. Nettles are seeking reelection. They are being challenged by Former Darlington Mayor and Former City Councilmember Gloria Hines, as well as Albert Johnson and Angela McRavin.
In the Hartsville City Council, there is one candidate seeking reelection and four challengers:
Bryson Caldwell is seeking reelection as City Councilmember for District #2. Brian Meadows is seeking election to represent District #4, the seat now held by Bobby McGee. Colin Hungerpiller, Shaun Morrison and Craig Weber are seeking election to the City Council for District #6. Johnny Andrews, who currently represents District #6, has been on council for over 25 years and is not seeking reelection.
In the Lamar Town Council, there is one candidate seeking reelection and, two challengers:
Inez B. Lee is running for reelection. Angele White-Bradley and David W. Guinn are running for a seat on council.
In Society Hill, there are 2 council positions up for grabs but, only one candidate. Kevin Long is running for Town Council. Present councilmembers Charles “Chuck” Baker and Deborah Harrell have not registered to run for reelection to their seats.
The county’s commitment to fair and transparent elections is reflected in its modernization efforts. Darlington County has embraced technology, making it easier for residents to register to vote, check their registration status, and even vote early through secure, accessible methods.
Darlington County residents have a strong tradition of civic engagement. Community organizations, voter registration drives, and town hall meetings are regular occurrences. Local colleges and universities often host candidate forums, allowing voters to engage directly with those seeking public office.
Like many regions across the United States, Darlington County faces its share of challenges. Economic disparities, access to healthcare, and infrastructure improvements remain important issues for residents. although much is still to be done, Darlington County has made great strides in the improvement of infrastructure. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent repairing roads and replacing an old water/sewer system. There is still much more to do but, Darlington is poised to get the job done.
The upcoming elections present an opportunity for candidates to address these challenges and, hopefully, offer solutions that can drive positive change.