Meet the Candidates

Darlington and Hartsville host events for voters to meet city council candidates prior to November 3 election

The two larger municipalities in Darlington County, the cities of Darlington and Hartsville, are giving voters an up-close and personal chance to see and hear from the citizens who will be on the ballot for election on November 3.

The News and Press is hosting a Council and Mayoral Forum on Thursday, October 22nd at the Darlington Recreation Department (Harmon Baldwin Center) on 300 Sanders Street.
The event will be a time-managed forum moderated by Bill Rogers, Executive Director of the South Carolina Press Association. Mr. Rogers and our publisher, Morrey Thomas, will choose selections from the list of submitted questions from readers one hour prior to the event.

“We are pleased to have all the candidates agree to attend,” said publisher Morrey Thomas. “The event will be extremely important for voters, as the next mayor and council will be present as we usher in many new businesses arriving in Darlington- most notably, WalMart.”

The event will allow the candidates to introduce themselves and state their goals and objectives for running for office, with a 2-minute time limit.

Candidates for mayor:
• James “Jimmy” Cooper
• Gloria Cheeseboro Hines
• William M. Jackson
• Jim Stone

City council candidates: (3 at-large seats)
• Joan Alston
• Sheila Baccus
• Ronda Duke Brown
• Carolyn Bruce
• Linwood Epps
• Bryant Gardner
• John M. Milling
• Ouida K. Page
• Diane Sigmon
• Joyce Wingate Thomas
• John A. Wallace
• Beatrice Wilson

Questions from the community will be asked to the council members.

After a brief intermission, the four candidates for mayor will introduce themselves to the audience. A separate list of questions will be addressed to them.

Community members are encouraged to submit their questions to the News and Press by emailing visiting our website, Facebook message at: News & Press; calling 843-393-3811; or mailing to: News and Press, P.O. Box 513, Darlington, S.C. 29540

The Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce and the Butler Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion among Hartsville City Council candidates on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hartsville High School cafeteria. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Mal Hyman, professor of sociology at Coker College. Candidates participating in the event include each of the 5 candidates who filed to run for a position: incumbent candidates Johnny Andrews (District 4, Mayor Pro Tem), Billy Shirley (District 6), and Bernice Wilson (District 2) will be joined by Casey Copeland (District 6) and Chris Shirley (District 2). The program will include a 5-minute introduction for each candidate to lay out their agendas followed by a question and answer session with questions from the moderator.

The chamber is encouraging the community to attend and take advantage of this unique opportunity. “For the first time in several years, the community will have an opportunity to hear from candidates in a friendly atmosphere prior to an election. My hope is that voters will find this opportunity to be a positive experience. Our city has made great strides and the community- businesses and citizens alike- are interested to know how the candidates plan to continue the effort.” The event is free and open to the public, and is expected to last around an hour. For more information, contact the Hartsville Chamber by calling 843-332-6401 or visit them online at Questions from the public can be e-mailed to the chamber for consideration by sending them to

Author: Duane Childers

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