Originally created 06/14/06

Barton bests Randall in their third contest



AIKEN - Charles Barton and Joel Randall have gone head-to-head for an Aiken County Council seat three times in the past 12 years.

In 1994, Mr. Randall was the victor.

Mr. Barton took the honors in 2002, and he did so again in Tuesday's Republican primary for the council's District 6 seat.

"I think we just both want to serve the people," Mr. Barton, 61, said of his repeated bouts with Mr. Randall, 54.

He attributed his most recent victory to a strong support system.

"I think one of the things that helped us is the good people that we've had working with us," Mr. Barton said.

Mr. Randall offered words of praise for Mr. Barton and urged him to help the people of Graniteville, who live in District 6.

"All the times we've ran against each other, neither one of us has ever slung mud or ran a dirty campaign," Mr. Randall said.

Graniteville is likely to remain a top concern not only for Mr. Barton but for all of the council.

The town was rocked in 2005 by a train wreck and chlorine release that claimed nine lives and forced a mass evacuation.

County council members Scott Singer and Eddie Butler were unopposed in the GOP primary in their re-elections bids in Districts 2 and 5, respectively.