Danny Feagin topped two opponents to win the County Council District 3 seat outright Tuesday, but it will take a runoff to decide who represents Aiken County from state House District 81.
Also, state Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey held off a challenge Tuesday in the District 25 contest. Absentee ballots in the races had not been completely counted by press time.
With all precincts reporting, Feagin had 663 votes – 51 percent. Earl Clinton had 361, or 28 percent, and Don Turno had 275 votes, or 21 percent.
“I’m very thankful and appreciative of all the support and encouragement I’ve had during this campaign,” Feagin. “I think I’m due some rest, but I’m looking forward to serving the people.”
KT Ruthven got the most votes in House District 81 – 1,356, or 43 percent – but fell short of enough to win outright. Bart Blackwell came in second with 847 votes, or 27 percent, and will run against Ruthven on June 28.
Chris Austin got 622 votes, or 20 percent, and Jeremy O’Donnell got 360, or 11 percent.
Ruthven, the former county GOP chairman said he was already working toward the runoff and that his campaigning had taught him that “people are adamant about three things: term limits, real ethics reform and going to Columbia to cut their tax-and-spend habits and put in a balanced budget, like we do in our own homes.”
With all five counties that make up District 25 reporting, Massey had 5,594 votes, or 59 percent. His opponent, businessman John Pettigrew, polled 3,911, or 41 percent.
Senate District 25 includes Edgefield County and portions of Aiken, Lexington, McCormick and Saluda counties.
“I’m grateful that votes have given ne another opportunity to serve, and I’ll do my best. I want to congratulate Mr. Pettigrew on a hard-fought campaign,” Massey said.
Before the election, Massey identified leadership as the state’s top challenge. His campaign slogan invited supporters to "shake up Columbia."
“To improve South Carolina, we need leaders who will break from the status quo and do the hard work necessary to solve hard problems,” he said.
Similarly, Ruthven named “fixing our broken and ineffective government” as the biggest issue facing Aiken County, and proposed “comprehensive ethics reform including term limits, mandatory income disclosures, and independent commission to review ethics violations.”
Blackwell had said fixing the state’s crumbling roads and bridges would be his top priority.
“This problem only gets worse and more costly the longer we wait,” Blackwell said.
The District 81 seat was vacated by the retirement of Don Wells.
Feagin said he would concentrate on ways to add jobs and would “establish a plan to clean up old abandoned areas as funds are available.”
The District 3 seat was vacated by the retiring LaWana McKenzie.
Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338 or email@example.com