July 4, 2022


Education The Solution

Crowded education superintendent race highlights SC ballot

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are the marquee races in South Carolina’s primaries up coming 7 days, but quite a few candidates are also competing for seats in Congress and for the statewide roles of education superintendent, legal professional standard and agriculture commissioner.

U.S. Residence

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice faces a 50 percent-dozen Republican challengers as he seeks the nomination for his sixth term. The race in the 7th District, which is anchored by Florence and Myrtle Seaside, grew to become crowded following Rice was one particular 10 Property Republicans to guidance the next impeachment hard work in opposition to then-President Donald Trump.

Rice’s major opponent, point out Rep. Russell Fry, has been endorsed by Trump. Democratic candidate and Army veteran Daryl Scott has no challengers in the principal.

An additional incumbent going through a fierce struggle is Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, whose 1st District runs from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Mace is dealing with Katie Arrington, who gained the Republican nomination in 2018 but dropped in the general election to a single-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham. Mace defeated Cunningham in 2020. Dr. Annie Andrews is the only Democrat functioning this calendar year.

In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons is dealing with a few challengers. Timmons is among the the Republican congressmen who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election final results for Joe Biden and he has received an endorsement from Trump. But his opponents contend he is not conservative sufficient.

Trump chose Timmons around Mark Burns, a pastor who expended two decades heading 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 good quality manage 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 struggling with two challengers as he seeks a 16th time period in the 6th District, the state’s only greater part minority district, which extends from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden is widely noticed as the defining variable that led to the latest president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic primary, faces chiropractor and insurance plan adjuster Michael Addison and constitution university teacher Gregg Marcel Dixon.

On the Republican facet, attorney Duke Buckner and guide A. Sonia Morris are seeking the nomination.

In the 5th District, which operates from Rock Hill to Sumter, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has no challengers in the most important. In November, he’ll experience one particular of two Democrats at present vying for their party’s nomination: Kevin Eckert, a community organizer and technician, and builder and true estate agent Evangeline Hundley. Norman has been in Congress considering the fact that 2017.

In the 2nd District, which involves the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has no main opposition for the seat he has represented since 2001. His Democratic opponent in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his campaign site as a “husband, a canine dad, a business enterprise proprietor, a school football fanatic and a South Carolina native.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan is unopposed in the most important and normal election as he seeks a seventh term in the 3rd District, which handles the northwest element of South Carolina.

In addition to the congressional races, Republican incumbents in three statewide workplaces face principal worries: the lawyer common, secretary of point out and agriculture commissioner.

Legal professional Normal

Legal professional Standard Alan Wilson is trying to find a fourth time period. He is challenged by attorney Lauren Martel, who reported Wilson does extra chatting than battling for conservative positions these kinds of as preserving Confederate monuments or fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates. No Democrats have entered the race.


Secretary of Condition Mark Hammond is currently being challenged in the Republican most important by Keith Blanford, who wishes to get the job of overseeing elections away from a board appointed by the governor and give it to the Secretary of State’s Business office.

A invoice that would make that changeover was proposed in the Standard Assembly this yr but never ever bought a listening to. The Republican-dominated Legislature did overhaul election guidelines to permit early voting.

The winner of the Republican main will confront Democrat Rosemounda Peggy Butler in the fall.


Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers has two opponents for the Republican nomination: Spartanburg County Soil and H2o Commissioner Bill Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who is effective in the farming market.

The winner will facial area David Edmond of the Eco-friendly Party and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Bash. If Bledsoe loses the Republican principal, he will operate in the typical election less than the Constitutional Celebration. This is the final year that state regulation permits candidates to operate for extra than one get together.


Each functions have crowded fields following Republican Instruction Superintendent Molly Spearman determined not to run once more right after eight several years in the job.

Spearman occasionally disagreed with other Republican leaders, specially on concerns these kinds of as whether local districts need to be capable to mandate masks to shield versus COVID-19. That schism has continued into the Republican major.

Spearman endorsed Kathy Maness, who is executive director of the Palmetto Point out Teachers Association. Spearman says Maness has been a teacher and is aware the two the legislative procedure and how educational institutions operate.

Quite a few other Republican leaders have endorsed Ellen Weaver, the CEO of conservative think tank Palmetto Promise Institute and chairwoman of the state Training Oversight Committee. She also has the backing of past condition education and learning superintendents Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has raised more than $325,000, an total not matched by any other prospect. Travis Bedson, who owns a basis fix business, has lifted about $280,000, with most of that cash coming from a $250,000 bank loan he made to his marketing campaign, according to marketing campaign finance reviews. Bedson suggests South Carolina public educational facilities have to have a organization state of mind to operate far better.

Maness has elevated about $115,000.

Weaver and Bedson experience one more hurdle: Neither of them has the master’s degree that South Carolina legislation now calls for of a superintendent. Maness does. The two Weaver and Bedson say they are doing the job on the advanced diploma, but election officials claimed there is no precedent for what comes about if a single of a single of them wins in November without having it.

Other Republicans functioning are Florence University District 1 Board Member Bryan Chapman, Greenville County Faculty Board member Lynda Leventis-Wells and Lexington elementary school trainer Kizzi Gibson.

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


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