Post election press conference: Cooper and Jackson speak out

Former candidates for Mayor of Darlington at their joint press conference on Nov. 7, 2015  left to right: Councilman  James "Jimmy" Cooper and William M. Jackson Photo by Jana E. Pye

Former candidates for Mayor of Darlington at their joint press conference on Nov. 7, 2015
left to right: Councilman James “Jimmy” Cooper and William M. Jackson
Photo by Jana E. Pye

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

A joint press conference regarding the recent November 3, 2015 election and the upcoming runoff election on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 in Darlington was held by former Darlington mayoral candidates Councilman James “Jimmy” Cooper and William M. Jackson.

The gentlemen met outside of the nearly 100 year old family owned business, Cooper’s Barbershop on West Broad Street in Darlington, South Carolina.

The pair were two of four candidates for the office of mayor of Darlington, including Councilwoman Gloria Cheeseboro Hines and Jim Stone. Hines and Stone face each other in a run off election on Tuesday, November 17.

One of the issues mentioned in the press conference was the number of absentee votes for mayoral candidates; according to numbers calculated on election night, the absentee votes by candidate were:
William Jackson: 66 absentee votes
James “Jimmy” Cooper: 71 absentee votes
Jim Stone: 152 absentee votes
Gloria Cheeseboro Hines: 181 absentee votes

Election results were:
Jackson: 315
Cooper: 365
Stone: 421
Hines: 448

A transcript is posted below the video.

James “Jimmy” Cooper:

“Thank you ladies and gentleman of the press for joining me and my former opponent, Mr. William Jackson.
Last Tuesday we had an election here in Darlington and I want to thank my family and friends who supported me during the campaign. Whether you made calls, knocked on doors, gave donations, or simply just told your neighbor about the campaign, thank you for believing and for believing in my heart to serve the people of Darlington.
This year’s election was one for the history books. Never have we had so many candidates running for so many open seats in Darlington. We also have never had a race decided by such a high number of absentee votes. An unusually high number of absentee votes.
However, this election is over, and now there is a run off for mayor and city council. I congratulate those who will be running in the runoff election. I also want to commend my former opponent, my former worthy opponent, Mr. William Jackson.
William, thank you for agreeing to be here today, and for running a good, clean race. Thank you.
Today, William and I stand here side-by-side not to endorse anyone but to stand united in issuing a simple challenge; we call on all candidates to use the remaining two weeks of this runoff campaign to articulate a vision with real solutions. Some of these would be to expand our boundaries to improve access to community services; we have to attract and retain businesses to make it easier for our homegrown businesses to do business in Darlington. We have to fix our infrastructure. Our citizens deserve to know what the candidates propose to do about these issues. And that’s why we are issuing this call for answers regarding their actions. We ask that the candidates submit their specific plans to the local media outlets of their choice, so that the people can evaluate who is best suited for driving Darlington forward. At this time, I would like to ask Mr. William Jackson to say a few words.”

William M. Jackson:
“I. too, appreciate everybody coming out and the media coming out to hold a little small press conference for us.
As Jimmy said, we have got some issues in Darlington and we would like for the candidates to get those issues out in public, get them written down on a piece of paper, and let us know exactly – and let the citizens know exactly what they plan to do, so the citizens can make an informed decision on who is best to lead Darlington moving forward.
Two issues that are near and dear to me that I think will to bring Darlington into 2015 are:
One, would be annexation. It is very important that we expand our city borders. And I hope one of the candidates has a plan for annexation.
And two, is an effort that we have had going on; our beautification committee does a very good job, but I encourage the city and the incoming mayor to let us know what their plans are as far as continuing the efforts of Beautification Board and hopefully supporting them even more than they have in the past. Because it is very vital to our success to have the city look good, have an appealing look to other people … to our guests who come from out of state and drive through our area … to look good; and hopefully, they would decide to buy a house, and make Darlington their home.”

“Thank you very much, William. Again, I want to stress that our purpose here today is not to endorse any particular candidate. We simply want the press, and the people, to challenge the candidates to truly address the issues before the election.
In closing, I have this to say to mayoral candidates Gloria Hines and Jim Stone, and to all other runoff candidates;
Please share your specific ideas and plans to solving the critical issues facing the City of Darlington. Give the people of Darlington the information they need to make an informed decision in two weeks. Your success is critical to the success of Darlington. For your family, and mine – and for each and every resident of our great city.
Thank you.
Thank you, William.”

Author: Jana Pye

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