June 16, 2024


General Line

Crowded education superintendent race highlights SC ballot


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Six Republicans and three Democrats are trying to find their parties’ nominations for South Carolina’s open up point out training superintendent seat — a person of the most contentious and attention-grabbing races in Tuesday’s primaries.

There are also primaries for governor and U.S. Senate, as properly as a handful of U.S. Property primaries and races in which numerous statewide office environment incumbents facial area challengers.

If no applicant will get 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will progress to a June 28 runoff. A glimpse at some of Tuesday’s major races:


Equally functions have crowded fields immediately after Republican Instruction Superintendent Molly Spearman resolved not to run yet again following 8 years in the position.

Spearman in some cases disagreed with other Republican leaders, in particular on troubles this sort of as no matter whether neighborhood districts must be ready to mandate masks to protect versus COVID-19. That schism has continued into the Republican key.

Spearman endorsed Kathy Maness, who is government director of the Palmetto Point out Academics Affiliation. Spearman claims Maness has been a teacher and understands the two the legislative process and how colleges operate.

Lots of other Republican leaders have endorsed Ellen Weaver, the CEO of conservative feel tank Palmetto Assure Institute and chairwoman of the condition Schooling Oversight Committee. She also has the backing of earlier condition education superintendents Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has elevated far more than $325,000, an volume not matched by any other prospect. Travis Bedson, who owns a foundation fix organization, has elevated about $280,000, with most of that income coming from a $250,000 personal loan he created to his marketing campaign, in accordance to marketing campaign finance stories. Bedson says South Carolina general public schools have to have a business enterprise state of mind to run superior.

Maness has lifted about $115,000.

Weaver and Bedson face one more hurdle: Neither of them has the master’s degree that South Carolina law now needs of a superintendent. Maness does. The two Weaver and Bedson say they are operating on the highly developed diploma, but election officers explained there is no precedent for what occurs if one of them wins in November without it.

Other Republicans working are Florence Faculty District 1 Board Member Bryan Chapman, Greenville County Faculty Board member Lynda Leventis-Wells and Lexington elementary university instructor Kizzi Gibson.

Competing for the Democratic nomination are state Rep. Jerry Govan, former Anderson County Faculty District 4 Superintendent Gary Burgess and Lisa Ellis, founder of the instructor advocate group SC for Ed.

U.S. House

In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons is dealing with 3 challengers. Timmons is amongst the Republican congressmen who voted towards certifying the 2020 presidential election final results for Joe Biden and he has been given an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. But his opponents contend he is not conservative ample.

Trump selected Timmons more than Mark Burns, a pastor who expended two many years going to rallies to communicate on Trump’s behalf. The other two candidates competing versus Timmons are George Abuzeid, a previous adviser to the congressman, and retired businessman Michael LaPierre.

The lone Democrat in the race is Ken Hill, a nuclear electrical power plant quality control inspector for the congressional district, which is anchored by Greenville and Spartanburg.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democrat in Congress, is facing two challengers as he seeks a 16th term in the 6th District, the state’s only greater part minority district, which extends from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden is commonly seen as the defining aspect that led to the present-day president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic key, faces chiropractor and coverage adjuster Michael Addison and charter faculty trainer Gregg Marcel Dixon.

On the Republican aspect, attorney Duke Buckner and specialist A. Sonia Morris are searching for the nomination.

In the 5th District, which runs from Rock Hill to Sumter, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has no challengers in the major. In November, he’ll experience just one of two Democrats presently vying for their party’s nomination: Kevin Eckert, a group organizer and technician, and builder and serious estate agent Evangeline Hundley. Norman has been in Congress because 2017.

In the 2nd District, which incorporates the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has no main opposition for the seat he has represented considering that 2001. His Democratic opponent in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his campaign internet site as a “husband, a puppy father, a enterprise owner, a higher education football enthusiast and a South Carolina indigenous.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan is unopposed in the primary and typical election as he seeks a seventh phrase in the 3rd District, which covers the northwest section of South Carolina.

Lawyer Typical

Legal professional Common Alan Wilson is in search of a fourth phrase. He is challenged by attorney Lauren Martel, who stated Wilson does much more conversing than fighting for conservative positions this sort of as protecting Accomplice monuments or combating COVID-19 vaccine mandates. No Democrats have entered the race.


Secretary of Condition Mark Hammond is being challenged in the Republican main by Keith Blanford, who would like to take the part of overseeing elections away from a board appointed by the governor and give it to the Secretary of State’s Office environment.

A monthly bill that would make that changeover was proposed in the Normal Assembly this yr but hardly ever received a hearing. The Republican-dominated Legislature did overhaul election rules to allow early voting.

The winner of the Republican primary will facial area Democrat Rosemounda Peggy Butler in the drop.


Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers has two opponents for the Republican nomination: Spartanburg County Soil and Drinking water Commissioner Monthly bill Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who works in the farming market.

The winner will confront David Edmond of the Inexperienced Bash and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Party. If Bledsoe loses the Republican most important, he will run in the common election below the Constitutional Social gathering. This is the final yr that point out legislation enables candidates to operate for much more than one particular party.


Observe Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.


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