Runoff elections for Jasper County sheriff and two County Council seats will be June 26 after no candidates in those races won more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primaries.
When no candidate crosses the 50-percent threshold in a contest with more than two people, state law says the top two vote-getters must face off again to determine who advances to the November general election.
About 35 percent of the county's registered voters turned out Tuesday, according to county elections board chairman Donald Sheftall.
Runoff elections for Jasper County Democrats are as follows: Sheriff: Incumbent Greg Jenkins won 43 percent of the vote, and Sam Woodward 41 percent to advance to a runoff. Charles Maestro Mitchell Jr. had 16 percent. No Republicans ran for the office, but Keefe Blatchley is attempting a petition to get on the ballot as an independent. County Council, at-large: Incumbent Sam Gregory won 32 percent of the vote, and Tom Johnson, 39. The winner will face Republican Grady Woods in November. Those who didn't make it to the next round include former Ridgeland Mayor Gary Hodges, who captured 19 percent of the vote, and Reginald Bush Jr., 10 percent. Hodges, a staunch supporter of the town's effort to enforce the Interstate 95 speed limit with traffic cameras despite a ban on the practice by the General Assembly, was turned out of the mayor's office in November by Joey Malphrus. County Council, Hardeeville Township: Barbara Clark won 47 percent of the vote and Steve Reaves 26 percent. The winner will face Republican Joe Arzillo in November. A third candidate, Andrea Smallwood, lost to Reaves by only nine votes.
Democratic candidates who won Tuesday's primaries are as follows: Clerk of Court: Incumbent Margaret Bostick defeated Raymond Hamilton, 64 percent to 36 percent. No Republican ran for the office, and barring the emergence of a petition candidate, Bostick will take the seat after November's general election. County Council, Pocotaligo Township: Incumbent Henry Etheridge, with 71 percent of the vote, defeated James Chisolm, 29 percent. Etheridge faces Republican Keith Horton in November.
S.C. HOUSE RACES
Results of other races affecting Jasper County: State Rep. Bill Bowers won the Democratic primary against state Rep. Curtis Brantley for the redrawn House District 122. Jasper County voters, however, favored Brantley by 53 percent of the vote. Bowers ultimately prevailed in the district, which includes Hampton County, with 57 percent of the vote. Beaufort County Council Chairman Weston Newton defeated fellow Councilman Jerry Stewart for S.C. House District 120 in a Republican primary. Stewart, however, won Jasper County by 61 percent of the vote. District 120 is mostly in Beaufort County, but parts stretch into Jasper County. Newton captured 83 percent of the vote overall.