Beaufort County Council District 1
Name: Gerald Dawson
Political party: Democratic
Number of years living in the area: 59 years
Family: Vivian Dawson, wife; four adult children
Education: Beaufort County public schools
Current occupation/employer: Retired U.S. Postal Service letter carrier
Employment, military and volunteer history: 22 years with the Postal Service; volunteer for Beaufort County EMS
Public offices: Beaufort County Council 2004 to present
Unsuccessful campaigns for public office: None
Other prior political and government experience: Beaufort County Planning Commission
Key endorsements you've received: N/A
S.C. Ethics Commission statement of economic interests: Listed $16,198 in personal income from Beaufort County.
Campaign money raised: $3,422 as of May 28
Largest donors: James P. O'Neal, $1,000; James Moore: $855; Christopher Campbell, $500.
Why should people vote for you? What separates you from your opponent?
I know many of the citizens in the district because I lived here my entire life. I have their best interest at heart. Leadership ability separates me from my opponent. Beaufort County Council's attempt to purchase the Beaufort Commerce Park required three readings and a public hearing. My opponent and I voted in favor of purchasing the park on the first and second readings. After receiving threats from members of the tea party at the public hearing, my opponent voted against the proposal on third and final reading. I won't cave in to political pressure.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected? How?
1. Education -- Support funding for Beaufort County School District Early Childhood Intervention Programs. Placing children 0 to 5 years old in an educational environment will produce positive results. They will enter the first grade on or above grade level, which will ultimately reduce the dropout rate.
2. Job creation -- There must be continued efforts to work with our neighbor, Jasper County, and Hardeeville to recruit and attract businesses to the region. Better wages are needed to help our citizens improve their standard of living.
3. Protection of waterways -- Continue funding for stormwater management and water-quality control. Monitor new developments for compliance of best management practices and retrofit existing developments with retention methods.
What other issues do you see as important?
Recession recovery -- A downturn in the economy has caused a decline in revenue at every level of government. Until the economy turns around, wise and prudent management of revenues is crucial for the provision of services to our local citizens.
What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
Beaufort County has made government transparent by televising all meetings of council and its committees on the Beaufort County Channel.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you?
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes?
Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
I am a native Beaufortonian, Baptist minister, married 38 years and I love serving the citizens of District 1.