Lexington County Primary Elections Runoffs June 28, 2016 – My Picks

So basically every election with more than two people two weeks ago went into runoff mode, and that election is TODAY, June 28, 2016. Indeed, polls open less than 3 hrs from when I write this, and as with the election 2 weeks ago, I will likely be one of the first people there. (Indeed, I was Republican #1 on the signature list 2 weeks ago.)

HOWEVER, the runoff has shown some particularly nasty sides to some candidates, and my thoughts have changed at least in part on 3 of the 4 races – even though of the 4 races, 3 include people I supported in the last election.

So here goes, straight down the ballot:

SOLICITOR:
The (remaining) Candidates: Rick Hubbard, Candice Lively.
My Pick: Rick Hubbard
Reason: In the last election, I supported Lively as the outsider who could get shit done. I pointed out that Hubbard had allowed the prior Solicitor to be as bad as he was, as well as allowing former Sheriff James Metts to be as corrupt as he has been convicted of being. Both those and more still hold true. So why am I supporting him now? Because – and you will find this theme with 3 of my 4 picks – his opponent outed herself as discriminatory. Now this particular discrimination is so prevalent that we don’t even have a word for it, yet I experience it somewhat often and am somewhat vocal in speaking out against it. This particular discrimination is against childless adults. We see this quite often when such an adult runs, that at least one candidate will bring up “I can protect kids better because I actually have them.”, which is SOOOOOOOOOO offensive and equally blatantly wrong. (Famously, we also saw this line of thought used in Georgia against Karen Handel in both the 2010 Governor race and the 2014 Senate race.) This time, Lively was the one that made that comment – on the eve of Father’s Day, speaking against her male opponent no less! This would be equivalent to someone cheering the display of the piss crucifix on Good Friday for many, yet she is cheered for this behavior! I put up with a lot of crap from Lively in the election two weeks ago because I thought her opponents’ background made them worse, but this particular incident showed just how bad Lively was and lost this voter’s support because of it.

CLERK OF COURT:
The (remaining) Candidates: Lisa Comer, Emily Hinson
My Pick: Lisa Comer.
Reason: I picked her last time, and I have seen nothing in the last two weeks to change that. Indeed, in the last two weeks it seems that the people I trust the least – elected officials – have been lining up behind her opponent. Good enough for me to stay Comer.

COUNTY COUNCIL:
The (remaining) Candidates: Erin Long Bergeson, Dino Teppara
My Pick: Erin Long Bergeson
Reason: My fights against natives seeking public office are epic and very nearly the stuff of legend. And Bergeson seems to think that anti-tax groups count as “special interests” and “lobbying” and seems open to raising my taxes. So why the hell am I going with her? Because Teppara is a racist, plain and simple. His opposition to more housing for more people to come to Chapin can only be because he doesn’t want “those people” living in his “perfect” town. Dude, Chapin has a LOT of problems, and the VAST bulk of them are caused by the white people here. Giving some people I know personally a chance to live much closer to work is NOT a bad thing, and the quality of the people I speak of is better than the quality of you. So I go with Bergeson not because I like her, but because Teppara is such a blatant racist.

REGISTER OF DEEDS:
The (remaining) Candidates: Rich Bolen, Tina Guerry
My Pick: NOTA? Unfortunately not an option, so Tina Guerry
Reason: Guerry is a friend, and at this point that is one of only two reasons she is getting my vote. (The other being her opponent is a blatant sexist.) That so many elected officials are lining up to support her is beyond troubling, and if she were not a friend would disqualify her immediately (other than her opponent being a sexist).

Lexington County Primary Elections June 14, 2016 – My Picks

Unlike POTUS nominees (and even Statewide), I try to pick what I genuinely feel is the *best* candidate for the office for local races. Why? Because when the Feds and State fail, local is still community, and even in complete and total anarchy – my avowed desire – voluntary community is needed. (Even though Lexington County needs to be divided into at least 4 separate Counties, but that is another post for another day… someday.)

I’ll go straight down the Republican Sample Ballot, since the Democratic race only has a single race – US Congress vs Joe Wilson, and Wilson will win that race in November anyway.

State House of Representatives, District 85:
The Challengers: Chip Huggins (I) vs Bryan Clifton
My Vote: Bryan Clifton. 1) I DO NOT vote for Incumbents. Period. 2) Clifton has been genuinely working for the last couple of years or so to build his support throughout the district. I’ve never met the guy personally, but I’ve seen a LOT of his signs and I’ve seen on Facebook where he has been out at least a couple of times a month campaigning for the last year and a half at least. He’s put in the work and he does not have an (I) beside his name, so there you go.

Solicitor Circuit 11:
The Challengers: Rick Hubbard vs Candice Lively vs Larry Wedekind.
My Vote: Candice Lively. I’m not *overly* thrilled with any of them, but both Hubbard and Wedekind worked under the current (retiring) Solicitor and allowed former Lexington County Sheriff James Metts to be as corrupt as he was. Initially I wasn’t going to vote for Candice, as her signs were working against her – she absolutely had a case of resting bitch face going on with her face on her larger signs. I think she realized this and corrected later though, as newer signs had a better pic. But ultimately it was learning about Hubbard and Wedekind’s history in Lexington County, along with Wedekind’s outright politicalization of the office via pandering for votes using issues that are in NO WAY connected to this job, that sealed the deal. That, and Lively isn’t afraid to respond to antagonistic comments and leave them up. That too spoke volumes.

Clerk of Court:
The Challengers: Lisa Comer, Emily Hinson, Mollie Taylor
My Vote: Lisa Comer. Mollie Taylor royally screwed over a friend during some legal issue they had, so that was a no-go. Emily Henson just doesn’t seem to know what the hell she is talking about. Comer seems fairly competent, and I know from previous work in a District Attorney’s office that it really doesn’t take much in this job.

Coroner:
The Challengers: Margaret Fisher (I), Glenn Ross
My Vote: Glenn Ross. NOTA would be preferable, but Fisher has an (I) beside her name, meaning Ross gets my vote. I don’t actually like this guy, but I absolutely refuse to vote for any Incumbent, ever, and NOTA isn’t an option.

County Council District 6:
The Challengers: Ronald Derrick, Erin Long Bergeson, Benjamin Stitely, Dino Teppara
My Vote: Ben Stitely. Berenson making it a major point that her family is a native to Lexington County for a few generations (at least) lost me – anyone who knows my history with City Council races knows that I am the one guy that stands up to legacy families/ candidates, because fresh ideas are needed in these modern times and those guys run on nothing more than maintaining the status quo. Similarly, Derrick makes it a proud point that he is a “lifelong” resident of Chapin. Seriously? As many issues as this City has, that you apparently haven’t tried to stop? Wouldn’t be advertising that fact… Teppara is a NIMBY, actively opposing new people coming into Chapin. Stitely is very vague on his FB, but at least he didn’t say anything that disqualified him from my vote.

Register of Deeds:
The Challengers: Rich Bolen, Mike Green, Dan Gregory, Tina Guerry, Joy Munsch.
My Vote: Tina Guerry. I’m not overly thrilled that the retiring Incumbent endorsed her yesterday, but I know Tina personally – the only one of any candidate listed on this page that I can say that about. I’ve known her for 3 years, and some of my closest friends have known her much longer. She’s very competent at her current job, and she has some solid ideas for what she wants to do in this new potential job. And then there are her challengers. Gregory simply is too quiet – his brother blatantly runs his FB page. Munsch doesn’t even *have* a FB page – despite running in a race with nearly 300K population in the district. Green thinks the biggest qualification needed is to be the most extremely conservative Christian – with a degree from Bob Jones University no less and actively censors comments on his FB page. Bolen is an outright sexist who floated the idea of putting his face on his new signs with the slogan “not just a pretty face” – and then actually *did* put his face on his new signs, though at least he was smart enough to not *actually* put the proposed slogan with it. (For those unaware, Guerry has had her face on her most prominent signs since she began putting them out.)