Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain has withstood a tough challenge to win another term as the chief law enforcement officer of the county. The unofficial final count of the vote last night put Chastain in the lead by 514 votes over his closest challenger. The race was very tight throughout the vote count, with the lead changing between Chastain and Don Reynolds. Toward the end of the vote count, Chastain pulled back ahead and even widened his lead as the final precincts were added to the total. In the end, Chastain had 9,264 votes, or 38.46% of all votes cast. In second place, Don Reynolds polled 8,750 with 36.33% of the vote. In third place of the five-man race was Eric Robinson, with 3,215 votes. David Brewer had 1,533 votes and Jerry Campbell received 1,297.
Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols easily won re-election to another term in yesterday’s balloting. He received 60.3% of the vote in a three-way race, polling 14,207 to 4,976 for Robert Plaxico and 4,357 for William Wier.
United States House Member Jeff Duncan won re-election to his second term as Third District Congressman with about 67% of the vote last night across the ten county region. The district total was 153,153 votes for Duncan and 75,113 votes for Democratic Challenger Brian Ryan Doyle.Duncanwon his home county, Laurens, with just under 63% of the vote – polling 15,627 votes here. He took Greenwood County with 75.4% of that county’s vote.
State Representative Mike Pitts won his 6th term as House District 14 Representative yesterday, defeating a challenge from former School District 55 Superintendent Ed Taylor with 60.2% of the Laurens County vote, 7,875 to 5,200 for Taylor. Pitts took the smaller Greenwood County portion of District 14 with 75.4% of the vote there, 1,873 to 603.
Greenwood native David Stumbo, now a Laurens County resident, won the race to become the new 8th Circuit Solicitor in January, polling 44,945 votes, or 57¼ % of the vote count in all four counties. He took Laurens County with just under 62% of the vote, 15,301 to 9,304 for Benjamin L. Shealy. Stumbo took Greenwood County with 16,137 votes, or just under 58% of the vote there.
Four Laurens County Council members were re-elected yesterday. Two had opposition on the ballot. Seat 2 Councilman Joe Wood received 68% of the vote, winning re-election with 2,291 votes to 1,076 votes for challenger John Martin, to continue representing Western Laurens County. In the Clinton and Joanna area, County Councilman David Pitts held off a challenge for Council Seat 7 by getting 65½% of the vote, defeating challenger Hunter Doolittle 2,121 to 1,108.
In other local results from yesterday’s General Election, District 56 School Board member Dr. Patricia E. Sadler polled just under 61% of the vote to hold off a challenge from former Clinton High Football Coach Andy B. Young, 559 to 357.
In Municipal voting yesterday, Parker Moore won re-election to his position on the Laurens Commission of Public Works with just under 57% of the votes cast, defeating challenger Tim Pulley 1,157 to 873.
Laurens City Councilwoman Marion “Blonde” Miller was re-elected to another term by holding off a challenge from Travis Cash, 297 to 141, representing 67½% of the votes cast. Sara C. Latimore outpolled Karen Dakers-Joy 276 to 229 to take the seat on City Council being vacated with the retirement of Frank Richardson.
Based on thereenwoodountyoting population in Ware Shoals, it appeared last night that Mayor Bonnie Maxwell was defeated for re-election 392 to 321. John Hansen won the Greenwood portion of the vote for Mayor with just over 54% of the votes. We did not receive the Abbeville County portion of the vote last night.
Last night’s vote count is unofficial, pending a canvas of the vote Thursday by the County Election Commission.
Fairly heavy turnout was reported in yesterday’s General Election here in Laurens County. Voter turnout was 67½%. Some 3800 people voted absentee, about 10% of the total registered voters in the county.