July 1, 2022


It's Your Education

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 future week, but several candidates are also competing for seats in Congress and for the statewide roles of instruction superintendent, lawyer common and agriculture commissioner.

U.S. Property

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice faces a fifty percent-dozen Republican challengers as he seeks the nomination for his sixth phrase. The race in the 7th District, which is anchored by Florence and Myrtle Beach front, became crowded after Rice was one particular 10 Property Republicans to support the 2nd impeachment exertion versus then-President Donald Trump.

Rice’s major opponent, state Rep. Russell Fry, has been endorsed by Trump. Democratic applicant and Army veteran Daryl Scott has no challengers in the primary.

One more incumbent struggling with a intense fight is Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, whose 1st District runs from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Mace is dealing with Katie Arrington, who won the Republican nomination in 2018 but dropped in the typical election to one particular-expression Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham. Mace defeated Cunningham in 2020. Dr. Annie Andrews is the only Democrat managing this year.

In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons is experiencing 3 challengers. Timmons is among the Republican congressmen who voted towards certifying the 2020 presidential election results for Joe Biden and he has obtained an endorsement from Trump. But his opponents contend he is not conservative ample.

Trump selected Timmons above Mark Burns, a pastor who used two decades likely to rallies to converse on Trump’s behalf. The other two candidates competing against 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 high 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 phrase in the 6th District, the state’s only the vast majority minority district, which extends from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden is extensively seen as the defining variable that led to the existing president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic principal, faces chiropractor and insurance coverage adjuster Michael Addison and constitution school trainer Gregg Marcel Dixon.

On the Republican aspect, lawyer Duke Buckner and specialist A. Sonia Morris are seeking the nomination.

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

In the 2nd District, which consists of the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has no key opposition for the seat he has represented because 2001. His Democratic opponent in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his marketing campaign web site as a “husband, a puppy dad, a business enterprise operator, a university soccer fanatic and a South Carolina indigenous.”

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

In addition to the congressional races, Republican incumbents in 3 statewide workplaces facial area major issues: the legal professional normal, secretary of state and agriculture commissioner.

Lawyer Common

Legal professional Basic Alan Wilson is in search of a fourth expression. He is challenged by lawyer Lauren Martel, who said Wilson does much more chatting than preventing for conservative positions these types of as preserving Confederate monuments or battling COVID-19 vaccine mandates. No Democrats have entered the race.


Secretary of State Mark Hammond is being challenged in the Republican most important by Keith Blanford, who desires to consider the purpose of overseeing elections absent from a board appointed by the governor and give it to the Secretary of State’s Business office.

A bill that would make that changeover was proposed in the Normal Assembly this yr but under no circumstances bought a hearing. The Republican-dominated Legislature did overhaul election legal guidelines to permit early voting.

The winner of the Republican principal 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 Water Commissioner Bill Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who operates in the farming field.

The winner will facial area David Edmond of the Green Occasion and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Party. If Bledsoe loses the Republican main, he will run in the normal election underneath the Constitutional Celebration. This is the final year that state legislation enables candidates to run for much more than a person party.

Education and learning SUPERINTENDENT

The two get-togethers have crowded fields after Republican Schooling Superintendent Molly Spearman made the decision not to operate once again just after 8 yrs in the occupation.

Spearman sometimes disagreed with other Republican leaders, specially on challenges these types of as whether or not neighborhood districts must be ready to mandate masks to safeguard from COVID-19. That schism has ongoing into the Republican key.

Spearman endorsed Kathy Maness, who is govt director of the Palmetto Point out Instructors Affiliation. Spearman suggests Maness has been a trainer and is aware both the legislative procedure and how schools work.

Many other Republican leaders have endorsed Ellen Weaver, the CEO of conservative consider tank Palmetto Assure Institute and chairwoman of the point out Schooling Oversight Committee. She also has the backing of former state training superintendents Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has raised much more than $325,000, an amount of money not matched by any other applicant. Travis Bedson, who owns a foundation mend organization, has lifted about $280,000, with most of that revenue coming from a $250,000 financial loan he created to his campaign, according to campaign finance reports. Bedson states South Carolina community faculties require a business mindset to run far better.

Maness has lifted about $115,000.

Weaver and Bedson facial area a different hurdle: Neither of them has the master’s diploma that South Carolina legislation now demands of a superintendent. Maness does. Both of those Weaver and Bedson say they are doing work on the innovative diploma, but election officials reported there is no precedent for what occurs if a single of a single of them wins in November without it.

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

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


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