Bowers, Wilson win SDPC seats

COUNTY — With only a handful of local seats being decided Tuesday, about 40 percent of Pickens County’s registered voters made it to the polls to cast their ballots.

Three seats on the Pickens County School Board were up for grabs. In District 6, challenger Henry Wilson (2,643 votes) knocked off incumbent Jim Shelton (1,385).

In the District 2 race, Phillip Bowers (1,533) took the victory, followed by Tony Qualkinbush (1,224), Jennifer B. Wood (672) and Kevin McKenzie (509). In District 4, Brian Swords ran unopposed.

Two candidates were running unopposed for seats on Pickens County Council, and both Ensley Feemster and Trey Whitehurst saw little opposition from write-in candidates.

Three seats on Clemson city council were filled, with June Hay (1,747), Jerry Chapman (1,371) and Tim Fowler (1,232) all being elected without the need for a run-off. Ray Brown picked up 1,067 votes, follow by Jeremy Wright (973) and C. Martin Tiller (708). Clemson residents also voted yes to allow Sunday alcohol sales in the city, with the vote being 2,254 in favor and only 851 opposed.

The only other contested local race was for the State House District 3 seat of B.R. Skelton, who decided not to seek re-election. Libertarian Travis McCurry (978) fell to Republican Gary E. Clary, who picked up 5,107 votes.

Contested statewide races Tuesday included the governor’s office, as well as lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, comptroller general, superintendent of education and commissioner of agriculture.

Republican governor Nikki Haley won big in Pickens County, with 20,764 votes to Democrat Vincent Sheheen’s 5,829 votes. Libertarian Steve French (377), petition candidate Tom Ervin (235) and United Citizens candidate Morgan Reeves (87) were all well behind Haley in the race.

In the lieutenant governor race, Democrat Bakari Sellers (5,829) was not close to beating Republican and former state attorney general Henry McMaster, who was the clear favorite to county voters with 20,764 votes.

Incumbent S.C. Secretary of State Republican Mark Hammond was the clear choice to county voters, as he garnered 21,536 votes to Democrat Ginny Deerin’s 5,396.

Republican Alan Wilson (21,649) defeated Democrat Parnell Diggs (5,333) in the Pickens County vote for the attorney general seat.

The comptroller general race was taken by Republican incumbent Richard Eckstrom (21,421) over Democrat Kyle Herbert (5,333) in Pickens County, and incumbent agriculture commissioner Hugh Weathers (21,879) easily bested United Citizens candidate David Edmund (1,464) and American party candidate Emile DeFelice (1,508) in the county.

The S.C. Superintendent of Education seat of Mick Zais, who is not seeking re-election, was won by Republican Molly Spearman (20,001) over Democrat Tom Thompson (5,087) and American party candidate Ed Murray (1,469) in the county.

Federal offices on Tuesday’s ballot included the Senate seat of Lindsey Graham, who took Pickens County with 19,149 votes over petition candidate Thomas Ravenel (1,683), Democrat Brad Hutto, who also appeared on the ballot as a Working Families candidate (5,066), and Libertarian Victor Kocher (1,040).

Incumbent Tim Scott also faced opposition but won with ease, picking up 22,186 Pickens County votes to Democrat Joyce Dickerson’s 4,535 votes and American party candidate Joe Bossi’s 521 votes.

S.C. District 3 congressman Jeff Duncan (21,660 local votes) also faced a challenge from Democrat Barbara Joe Mullis (5,432).

All results are unofficial and will be certified by the Pickens Election Commission on Friday.