With all the attention paid to the presidential election, you might be forgiven for not knowing about local elections. But with less than a week to go before Election Day, there are indeed several local government positions that will be included on the ballot. In addition to casting a vote for President, a few offices Charleston County voters can expect to cast a vote for on Tuesday are South Carolina senator, South Carolina’s First Congressional District representative, Charleston County auditor, Charleston County treasurer and Charleston County School Board representative.
Republican incumbent Senator Tim Scott is up for reelection this Tuesday. He has served South Carolina as a Senator since 2013 and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Senator Scott grew up in North Charleston and has been active in local and federal government throughout his life. Scott opposes common core education, is pro-life and supports stronger border security. Senator Scott’s Democratic challenger is Thomas Dixon, a political activist and pastor. Dixon is an advocate of criminal justice reform, and was once Chairman of the South Carolina Crime Reduction Coalition. He is also a strong supporter of workers’ rights, and was elected local coordinator of the Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment in 2014. Dixon supports raising the minimum wage, expanding background checks for gun sales and investing in clean energy.
Charleston County voters can also expect to cast a vote for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Representative. Democrat Dimitri Cherny is running against Republican incumbent Mark Sanford. Sanford is a South Carolina native who has represented South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District since 2013. Sanford supports market-based healthcare reform, and wants to limit government regulations in businesses to generate economic growth. His challenger, Dimitri Cherny, was once a successful product manager in the high-tech industry. During the Recession of 2008 he lost everything and was homeless for a period of time before getting a job as a truck driver. This past September, Cherny spent 80 days biking across the 1st Congressional District, talking to voters about the issues most important to them. Cherny supports universal free healthcare, legalizing medical marijuana, raising the minimum wage and incentivizing bio-fuels.
For Charleston County treasurer, Democrat Mary Tinkler is running against Republican incumbent Andrew Smith. Smith has served as Charleston County Treasurer for nearly 20 years, and Tinkler has experience working in the South Carolina House of Representatives. For Charleston County Auditor, Democratic incumbent Peter Tecklenburg is running against Republican Elizabeth Moffly. Peter Tecklenburg was elected auditor in 2012, and is the nephew of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. Moffly has served on the Charleston County School Board and currently serves on the Awendaw-McClellanville Consolidated Fire District board. For Charleston County School Board Peninsula, incumbent Todd Garrett will defend his position against Tony Lewis. Garrett has held the position since 2012. Both candidates are non-partisan.
Although the hype surrounding the Presidential election tends to overshadow local elections, Charleston County voters are encouraged to resist ballot fatigue and make their voice heard in choosing local representatives.