Originally created 07/21/02

Primary will get 3 seats for GOP



Tuesday's Republican primaries for Aiken County Council will decide three of the four seats up for grabs.

Only District 1 GOP candidate Al Brodie, who has no opposition in the primary, will encounter a Democratic opponent at the Nov. 5 general election. He will face District 1 incumbent Kathy Rawls.

There are two Republican candidates squaring off for seats in Districts 2 and 5, and three vying for the District 6 post.

In District 2, Scott Singer, a community development manager for Regions Financial Corp., faces Libby Bland, a former real estate agent who manages her husband's medical office.

They're seeking to replace Susan Giddings, who is not running for re-election.

Competing for the District 5 seat are four-year incumbent Phil Napier and former council member Eddie Butler. Mr. Butler, who used to represent District 4, was placed in District 5 after lines were redrawn earlier this year.

Mr. Napier owns a hardware store in Graniteville. Mr. Butler owns Butler Automotive in Augusta.

Joel Randall, council's District 6 representative, faces challengers Charles Barton and Fay Hatcher.

Mr. Randall works security at Savannah River Site; Mr. Barton owns Barton Radiator and Electric Service; Mrs. Hatcher, who was on the council from 1979 to 1986, was office manager for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters but is now retired.

Turnout for the special election, held late because district lines weren't approved for last month's regular Republican primary, is expected to be low. Stuart Bedenbaugh, the director of the Aiken County Voter Registration and Elections Office, estimates a turnout of about 10 percent.

"Absentee turnout has been very slim," he said. "That's a good predictor of overall turnout."

He's received about 100 absentee ballots in all.

There are 9,720 voters in District 2, 8,736 in District 5 and 8,126 in District 6. Voters from either party are eligible to vote.

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803)279-6895 or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.