Two seats change on the county council

TUESDAY RESULTS: An incumbent member of the Laurens County Council was defeated Tuesday, and another seat will have a new member based on a runoff in two weeks.

Jeff Carroll defeated incumbent Keith Tollison and challenger Dale Mitchell in Tuesday's Republican primary. There is no Democratic challenger or announced write-in candidate for the position in District 5, which extends along the north border of Laurens County from portions of Gray Court in the west to portions of Joanna in the east. Carroll is the EMS director of Spartanburg County - he lives in Gray Court - and Tollison has a 60% attendance rate for recent council meetings because he travels for his work. Tollison said he would not resign his seat because Laurens County did not need the expense of a sepcial election.

In District 1, incumbent Ted Nash is not seeking re-election, and there will be a run-off for that seat. Kemp Younts led a field of four, but did not receive the 50% plus one needed to win the seat outright; he and Susan Thackston will meet in the June 26 Republican run-off election. Also on that ballot will be the GOP race for governor - Henry McMaster vs challenger John Warren. Statewide and in Laurens County, McMaster led a 3-person field (Catherine Templeton also ran), but did not receive the required number of votes to avoid a run-off (statewide, McMaster 153,630; Warren 100,322). 

In House District 42, which includes the PC side of Broad Street in Clinton, and Joanna, Republican voters were selecting a replacement for Democrat Mike Anthony, a retired educator/coach who is not seeking re-election. Doug Gilliam out-paced Phillip Russell and Brooks Carwile, with Russell winning a majority of Laurens County votes but Gilliam winning the Union County votes. Districtwide, Gilliam defeated Russell, 1,668 to 1,174, gaining 54.47% of the total votes.

For Congress, Democrat Mary Geren of Anderson will be the nominee to challenge incumbent Republican Jeff Duncan of Laurens County in November, and James Smith is the party's nominee to face the McMaster/Warren - GOP winner from the June 26 statewide runoff.

In District 5, Laurens County Council, Carroll received 486 votes to Tollison's 284 and Mitchell's 193. That means Carroll wins the seat with 50.47% of the vote - or 9 more votes than Tollison and Mitchell combined. Tollison won the Wattsville (Laurens) and Joanna precincts, Mitchell won the Laurens 6 and Clinton 1 boxes, and Carroll took the voting in Barksdale-Narnie, Owings, Gray Court, Youngs, Ora-Landford and Long Branch. 

Tollison, who attended Tuesday night's regular council meeting at the Hillcrest administration building but had missed several prior meetings, is the Laurens County Council's vice-chairman. Carroll said he was "not running against anybody," but rather as a Gray Court area resident, he entered the race to provide new ideas especially in his area of expertise - Emergency Medical Service.



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