Republican Primary Has Only Races In County



The Republican Primary will have the only contested races in Saluda County on Tues., June 14The county will have seven different ballots. All voters can cast ballots for sheriff, and 11th circuit solicitor.

The other races, County Council District 4, House District 39 and Senate District 25 depend on where the voters reside.

In the Sheriff’s race, former Sheriff Jason Booth is meeting Saluda Police Captain Robin Freeman. Both have long law enforcement careers in Saluda, have extensive training, and are sons of law enforcement officers.

“I want to reestablish my programs to work with our youth and senior citizens," Booth said. "Moreover, we need to reestablish our tactical team to address life threatening situations that jeopardize our community immediately, not the hour or more for someone else to deal with this issue.  We are a growing county and my plan addresses that growth, not just for this year, but for years to come.”

“I am a 2012 graduate of the National FBI Academy and am nearing the completion of course work that will earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia College. This education, combined with 19 years experience in law enforcement, and the respectful, professional relationships I have established with other officers across the state and nation, qualifies me beyond other candidates to lead law enforcement in Saluda County,” Freeman said.

Incumbent County Councilman Jacob Schumpert is being challenged by political newcomer Jones Butler for the District 4. seat.

Schumpert said, “I have supported services to citizens through EMS, Fire, Public Safety, Recreation, and departments while keeping in line with the conservative values of District 4.”

Butler said he would like to see waterlines provided in all parts of the county. “Saluda County matters to me. I would like to see a fiscally secure future for my family and yours and am willing to work toward that end.”

Another political newcomer Cal Forrest is challenging veteran House 39 Representative Ralph Shealy Kennedy Jr.

“My top priorities are to improve our crumbling roads and bridges, expand and develop infrastructure within House District 39 and grow jobs," said Kennedy. "My experience in the Legislature has led me to believe one thing: Good jobs grow from great schools.  I will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our State Superintendent of Education, Molly Mitchell Spearman and continue improving education so that every child is ready for college or a career upon graduation. We have made great strides, but there is still much work to do."

Forrest said he has conservative values and terms himself as down-to-earth. His reason for seeking office is to give back to the community. He stated he will be readily available to any of his constituents who may need his assistance adding he can be found six days a week at Price’s Metal Shop in Ridge Spring. 

“I will always be there for the people,” he said.

Incumbent District 25 State Senator Shane Massey is going against John Pettigrew, Jr. Both are from Edgefield.

“Growing up, my parents taught me to use common sense, to be careful spending money, that a man’s word is his bond and to trust in the Lord,” Pettigrew said. “If I am elected, I will take those values with me to Columbia along with my core conservative principles of less government control and more individual responsibility. I will focus my service on the issues important to the people of our district – jobs, education, roads, term limits and protecting private property rights.”

“We’ve made significant strides in changing the statehouse culture, but there’s more work to be done,” Senator Massey said.  “We have to keep pushing for stronger ethics laws, an expansion of educational opportunities to every child in our state, and a permanent and fiscally responsible fix for our crumbling roads and bridges.  And we have to stand up for South Carolina values and push back against an overbearing and out-of-control federal government.  I am committed to doing just that.”

Three candidates are seeking 11th Circuit Solictor’s post, open due to the retirement of longtime Solicitor Donnie Myers. Rick Hubbard, Candice Lively and Larry Wedekind (no picture) are the candidates.

Hubbard joined 11th circuit staff in 1994. In June of 2015, Hubbard was asked to become a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division for South Carolina’s Attorney General - Alan Wilson. He said he believes in justice and has a great respect for law and order. He is committed to running a positive, issues-based campaign and if elected will serve all citizens of Lexington, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties.

Lively, a Republican, currently serves as Senior Resource Attorney at USC’s Children’s Law Center, training law enforcement officers and prosecutors statewide in investigating and prosecuting child abuse cases. She previously served as Senior Assistant Solicitor in the 15th Circuit, where she earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor and fierce advocate for victims. 

“As the criminal justice community is aware, there are serious shortcomings in the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office,” Lively said. 

The third candidate, Wedekind, is a Chapin attorney.