Run-off needed in sheriff race

COUNTY — After weeks of uncertainty over which candidates would be on the ballot for this week’s primaries and even a last-ditch federal lawsuit filed by five state candidates earlier this week, Tuesday’s South Carolina primary elections went off as scheduled in Pickens County, albeit with what election officials called “very low turnout.”
Only about 6.5 percent of registered voters showed up to the polls Tuesday, with the blame resting on confusion about whether the primaries would be postponed due to this week’s federal lawsuit and even which candidates would be allowed to appear on the ballots.
In the race for the Republican nomination for Pickens County Sheriff, the only countywide race contested in Tuesday’s primaries, Rick Clark received slightly more votes than Pickens County Sheriff C. David Stone, who has held the office for more than 40 years. Clark received 4,051 votes, closely beating out Stone’s 3,794. Billy Looper came in third with 1,609 votes.
The narrow margin between Clark and Stone will necessitate a run-off between the two candidates in two weeks. The winner of the run-off will face independent candidate Keith Culbreath in the November election.
In the State House of Representatives District 3 race, newcomer Ed J. Harris knocked off incumbent B.R. Skelton, garnering 51.6 percent of ballots (1,145 votes) to Skelton’s 48.4 percent (1,073 votes).
In the State House of Representatives District 4 race, incumbent Davey Hiott (3,458 votes) won in a landslide over Vicky Wynn (817 votes), earning more than 80 percent of ballots.
All results are unofficial until being certified later this week and do not include failsafe, provisional and emergency ballots.