Clark, Skelton, Martin win

Romney overwhelmingly takes Pickens County

COUNTY — In one of the largest turn-outs in recent memory, Pickens County voters voiced their choices in county, state and national races on Tuesday.
More than 71 percent of the registered voters in Pickens County voted, with 9,335 voting straight Republican tickets and 3,509 voters voting straight Democratic.

Voters selected Republican Rick Clark as the first new sheriff in Pickens County in more than 40 years, as he garnered 54.7 percent of the vote, with 23,433 ballots cast in his favor, ahead of longtime assistant sheriff Tim Morgan’s 16,259 votes and fellow petition candidate Stan Whitten’s 3,035.

Perhaps the most controversial race throughout the election season was that for the State House of Representatives District 3 seat, and the battle between incumbent B.R. Skelton and petition candidate Ed Harris did not disappoint Tuesday. The race was the closest of the night in the county, with Skelton retaining his seat by picking up 53.2 percent of the vote (5,371 votes) to edge out Harris, who received 4,675 votes.

Incumbent senator Larry Martin cruised to a relatively easy victory in the State Senate District 2 race, picking up nearly 65 percent of the votes, or 23,985 ballots, to petition candidate Rex Rice’s 13,154.

Former County Council member Randy Crenshaw won a new seat in the County Council District 3 race, as the Republican candidate earned 83.4 percent of the ballots cast (6,711), easily topping petition candidate Kevin Link’s 1,334 votes.
For the only other contested County Council race, incumbent Republican Jennifer Willis more than doubled petition candidate Chris Bowers’ vote numbers. Willis had 5,349 votes, compared to Bowers’ 2,546.

In the race for School District 5 Trustee, incumbent Judy Edwards earned the most votes and retained her seat with 42.4 percent (3,285 votes) to David Whittemore’s 2,738. Valerie Ramsey picked up 1,708 votes to finish third.
Eric McConnell (508 votes) and Adelaide M. Gantt (408) earned seats in the Brushy Creek Watershed Conservation District race, while R. Stewart Bauknight (2,186), John H. Cutchin (1,493) and Cynthia Wise (1,803) earned seats in George’s Creek Watershed District 15.

In the Three and Twenty Watershed Conservation District, J. Mark Bishop (533 votes), Phil Tripp (455) and W.H. McAbee III (290) earned seats, while Leonard Allen Williams earned 231 to fall short.

In another race not decided solely within the borders of Pickens County, county voters selected incumbent Republican Jeff Duncan in the U.S House of Representatives District 3 race with 73.5 percent of the vote (33,396) to Democratic challenger Brian Ryan B. Doyle’s 10,307 votes.

Pickens County voters also made Republican candidate Mitt Romney their clear choice in the Presidential race, with the former Massachusetts governor taking a little more than 70 percent of the vote (33,385 ballots), compared to President Barack Obama’s 24.5 percent (11,122).

Pickens County voters also chose to pass Constitutional Amendment 1 on the ballot, which would make the Governor and Lt. Governor run on the same ticket. The vote was 22,197 yes votes to 21,660 no votes.

All results are unofficial until being certified later this week and do not include failsafe, provisional and emergency ballots.