Trump takes county; Hiott, Clary win; Saitta loses school board seat

PICKENS COUNTY — Election Day saw huge turnouts all over the country and it was no different in Pickens County as voters turned out in force with more than 65 percent of all registered voters making their way to the polls to cast votes that will shape the country for the next four years.

The election results in Pickens County were not without problems. As of 1 a.m., the Pickens County Board of Voter Registration and Elections was still trying to tally total votes. At press time, results were still not complete for several races.

Pickens County voters overwhelmingly let it be known that Republican Donald Trump was their choice for president, with Trump winning easily over Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 50 percent of the vote. The Trump/Pence ticket garnered 34,004, while Clinton/Kaine managed 9,813 with 63 of 70 precincts reporting. Nationally, at press time, Trump looked poised to become the 45thpresident of the United States, leading Clinton 244-215 in the electoral vote.

Other candidates getting votes for president in Pickens County were Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weldwith 1,119, Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Amaju Barakawith 299, Constitution Party candidates Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley with 153,American Party candidates Peter Skewes and Michael Lacey with 218 and independents Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn with 518

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican, won his seat by picking up 35,429 votes, defeating Thomas Dixon (7,273), Bill Bledsoe(353) and Michael Scarborough(294), all with 63 of 70 precincts.

Congressman Jeff Duncan took a victory over Hosea Cleveland in the District 3 race with 35,891 votes to Cleveland’s 8,557 votes, with 63 of 70 precincts reporting.

In State House of Representative races, District 3 Rep. Gary Clary retained his seat by defeating Travis L. McCurry8,147 to 1,570 votes with 23 of 26 precincts reporting. District 4 Rep. Davey Hiott (13,245 votes) dominated Libertarian Joey Lum (1,383 votes) with 26 of 30 precincts reporting.

For the S.C. House District 10 seat, incumbent Republican Joshua Putnam faced Democrat Anna Brown. Putnam got the win with 1,576 to Brown’s 351, with 9 of 11precincts reporting.

In Clemson, seven candidates were vying for three seats on Clemson City Council. Incumbents Crossie Cox (1,871) and John Ducworth (1,791) along with newcomer Mark Cato (1,510) took the wins, with Jim Oswald(1,394), Eunice Lehmacher (1,232), Drake McNeary (1,116) and Christine Minor(1,320) falling short.

In the Pickens County School Board District 3 race, incumbent Alex Saitta lost his seat to newcomer Shannon Haskett by the slimmest of margins. Haskett took the victory with 3,857 votes to Saitta’s 3,577, with 12 of 14 precincts reporting.

In the race for a Brushy Creek Watershed District Commission seat, Eric McConnell took the win with 444 votes to Gary Nevil’s 213 and Scott Smart’s 336.

Some county voters got to weigh in on referendums.

Residents of the Shady Grove Rural Fire District saw this question on their ballots: “Shall the fire tax millage rate for the Shady Grove Rural Fire District be increased by 4.6 mils in order to correct the current operating deficit, and provide additional manpower and improve fire protection and emergency response for the District?” Voters said yes (442) to passing the referendum, with 100 casting no ballots.

Two Pickens County municipalities will now allow businesses to sell alcohol on Sundays.

Central voters said yes with 527 votes to 217 no votes. Easley voters said yes 5,627 to 4,008 no to allow sales.

All results are unofficial and will be finalized and certified on Thursday.