• McMaster, Smith joust over issues

    In the first of two statewide TV debates, Gov. Henry McMaster and Democratic challenger James Smith drew clear distinctions on many issues Oct. 17 and sharply clashed on a few.
    McMaster repeatedly focused on lower taxes and less regulation as the key to the state’s prosperity now and in the future, while Smith urged raising teacher salaries, building infrastructure and improving health care by accepting federal Medicaid help under Obamacare.

  • Norrell, Evette trade jabs on issues

    Before a statewide TV audience Monday night, OCt. 29, Lancaster’s Mandy Powers Norrell and her opponent for lieutenant governor, Pamela Evette, cordially contrasted their positions on Medicaid expansion, taxes and economic development.
    Norrell, a three-term S.C. House member, is the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial candidate James Smith.  Evette, a Traveler’s Rest business owner, is the running mate of Republican Gov. Henry McMaster.

  • Time running out for handling absentee ballots by mail

    Voters who intend to cast absentee paper ballots by mail in the Nov. 6 election may be out of luck if they haven’t already started the four-step process, said Lancaster County Elections Director Mary Ann Hudson.
    Counting today, there are only six days to complete the process by mail and get the paper ballot back to the elections office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

  • Recreation bond boosters make case

    The Nov. 6 election ballot includes the county’s first bond referendum to fund recreational facilities – $19 million for five projects stretching from Indian Land to Kershaw.
    Supporters of the referendum, who are making their case to taxpayers at community meetings, say the need is obvious.

  • Council OKs rezonings for Lennar projects

    Lennar Carolinas’ plans for a 2,000-home subdivision and commercial development just north of Lancaster, along with the Harris Mill site in Indian Land, cleared their first hurdle before the Lancaster County Council on Oct. 22.
    Council unanimously approved a resolution and first readings on rezonings to allow construction of an unnamed 1,336-acre “master planned residential community” and 140-acre commercial component between Shiloh Unity and West North Corner roads along the west side of U.S. 521.

  • At 105, ‘best-looking’ voter casts his ballot

    At age 105, Fred Rom could pass for 30 years younger.
    The Sun City Carolina Lakes resident, whose hat boasts “105 and still the best-looking guy in the room,” walked into the elections office at the Lancaster County Administration Building on Oct. 24 to cast his ballot in the Nov. 6 election.
    “105 and a half!” he told the poll workers as he filled out paperwork. Asked why he made the trip to Lancaster instead of mailing in his absentee ballot, he joked: “I like to meet all these pretty women!”

  • Voters head to mid-term polls Nov. 6

    Voters who intend to cast absentee paper ballots by mail in the Nov. 6 mid-term election may be out of luck, said Lancaster County Elections Director Mary Ann Hudson.
    That’s because it takes a four-step postal process to get a paper ballot tabulated. Counting today (Oct. 31), there are only six days to complete it by mail and get the paper ballot back to the elections office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

  • School board forum focuses on growth

    Growth, and how to pay for it, dominated the Oct. 23 public debate featuring seven candidates for three Lancaster County school board seats.
    The Panhandle is experiencing explosive residential growth, with a new elementary school just opened and a new high school under construction. To the south in Lancaster, some facilities are underused, several candidates noted, questioning whether students might need to be moved to minimize construction needs.

  • Ballot includes state amendment

    Voters on Nov. 6 will have a decision to make other than whom to elect. This year, voters also must decide whether to amend the state’s constitution on a matter that would give the governor greater appointment power.
    The proposed constitutional amendment would change the way South Carolina’s superintendent of education is chosen, starting in January 2023.
    Now, voters elect the superintendent. The amendment will ask voters if they want to change that so future governors would choose a superintendent, with the consent of the state Senate.

  • House 45 debate veers into slugfest

    Fireworks usually come at the end of an event, and so it was in last week’s marathon five hours of Lancaster County politicking known as the Before You Vote Forum 2018 on Oct. 23.
    After a calm, often wonky, sometimes pedestrian evening, things got downright flinty when the candidates for S.C. House District 45 clashed on state pensions, Medicaid and teacher pay.
    In the final debate of the night, Republican incumbent Brandon Newton and Democrat challenger Corin Buskey sat alone on the stage at USC Lancaster’s Bundy Auditorium, a few feet apart.