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Editor reviews County Council Primary Elections
A Column by the Editor
posted June 7, 2010
COLUMN – With just one day to go before
the primary elections take place, county council candidates are
squaring off in three hotly contested races. Albert Talbert is
challenging District 1 County Councilman Norman Dorn and newcomer Byron
Robinson is making his bid to unseat District 4 County Councilman
Willie Bright in the Democrat Primary. Scott Mims will attempt to
unseat District 2 County Councilman Rodney Ashcraft in the Republican
Democrat Frank Nicholson and Republican Dean Campbell will face off in
the November General Election, as neither has a challenger in the
primary. Merriwether District 5 County Councilwoman Genia Blackwell is
unopposed and will return to serve her second term next year.
In the District 1 race 20-year incumbent Norman Dorn will face an
uphill battle in retaining his seat over Albert Talbert. Talbert fell
short last year by just 57 votes in the Democrat Primary. Unable to
campaign in 2008 due to the illness and subsequent death of his wife,
Talbert has been knocking on doors this election cycle. He is also
getting support from Republicans in the district who have stated they
plan to jump over to support him since there is no Republican candidate
in the race.
In 2008 almost 500 Republicans voted in the Republican Primary. If only
10% jump across party lines and Talbert retains his voting base, or
gains additional Democrat support, it could spell almost certain defeat
But don’t count Dorn out, he campaigns 365 days a year.
Scott Mims also faces high hurdles trying to unseat Rodney Ashcraft for
the District 2 county council seat in the Republican Primary. Ashcraft
won a landslide victory over three term incumbent Everett Kitchens
taking 76% of the vote in 2008. Though Mims is more popular in the
Edgefield area than Kitchens, overcoming such wide support for Ashcraft
just sixteen months later will not be easy. Ashcraft also has wide
support in the Merriwether and Mt. Vintage areas, Republican
strongholds with regular high voter turnout.
Newcomer Byron Robinson has made the County Council District 4 race
interesting in his bid to replace 20-year incumbent Willie Bright in
the Democrat Primary. Robinson has been well received in the district,
which stretches from the south side of Edgefield, capturing half of
Trenton south to the Merriwether area. Early into the campaign Robinson
was able to capture large segments of the political block support
Bright once took for granted. Though Bright initially discounted
Robinson as an “unknown” early in the campaign, he has taken the race
more serious as Robinson continued to gain support.
Pockets of Republicans have also joined the ranks of Robinson
supporters and, just as in District 1, say they plan to skip the
Republican Primary and vote in the Democrat Primary.
Whether or not Republicans will skip their primary in a year that sees
a broad spectrum of important elections such as Governor, Lt. Governor,
Congress, and state positions remains to be seen. Regardless, the
Democrat voters share the anti-establishment sentiment that is
widespread in the Republican circles in this election cycle.
That will not bode well for Dorn and Bright; both deeply entrenched in
their positions held for the past 20 years. Ashcraft enjoys the
advantage as being seen as a new voice on the county council since he
and District 5 councilwoman Blackwell were elected in 2008 over six and
eight year incumbents.
Voter turnout will be a key factor in all races. And, as the old adage
goes, “anything can happen in an election”.
Edgefield Daily will again be the only local media outlet in the CSRA
to provide live updates of the vote count as it becomes available
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without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
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