Crowded education superintendent race highlights SC ballot

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FILE - Palmetto State Teachers Association Executive Director Kathy Maness speaks to a South Carolina Senate subcommittee on Feb. 2, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. Six Republicans and three Democrats seek the nominations from their parties for the open state education superintendent seat highlight the ballot for the South Carolina primaries in the upcoming June 2022 election. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

FILE – Palmetto Condition Teachers Affiliation Govt Director Kathy Maness speaks to a South Carolina Senate subcommittee on Feb. 2, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats look for the nominations from their parties for the open up condition education superintendent seat spotlight the ballot for the South Carolina primaries in the forthcoming June 2022 election. (AP Image/Jeffrey Collins, File)


Contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are the marquee races in South Carolina’s primaries future 7 days, but numerous candidates are also competing for seats in Congress and for the statewide roles of education superintendent, legal professional general and agriculture commissioner.

U.S. Residence

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice faces a half-dozen Republican challengers as he seeks the nomination for his sixth expression. The race in the 7th District, which is anchored by Florence and Myrtle Seaside, became crowded just after Rice was a single 10 Property Republicans to assistance the next impeachment effort and hard work in opposition to then-President Donald Trump.

Rice’s major opponent, state Rep. Russell Fry, has been endorsed by Trump. Democratic prospect and Military veteran Daryl Scott has no challengers in the main.

Another incumbent struggling with a intense battle is Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, whose 1st District operates from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Mace is experiencing Katie Arrington, who gained the Republican nomination in 2018 but misplaced in the typical election to 1-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham. Mace defeated Cunningham in 2020. Dr. Annie Andrews is the only Democrat managing this year.

In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons is struggling with 3 challengers. Timmons is among the Republican congressmen who voted from certifying the 2020 presidential election outcomes for Joe Biden and he has been given an endorsement from Trump. But his opponents contend he is not conservative ample.

Trump selected Timmons over Mark Burns, a pastor who expended two years heading to rallies to talk on Trump’s behalf. The other two candidates competing in opposition to Timmons are George Abuzeid, a former adviser to the congressman, and retired businessman Michael LaPierre.

The lone Democrat in the race is Ken Hill, a nuclear electric power plant high quality command inspector for the congressional district, which is anchored by Greenville and Spartanburg.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democrat in Congress, is experiencing two challengers as he seeks a 16th expression in the 6th District, the state’s only vast majority minority district, which extends from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden is extensively seen as the defining issue that led to the existing president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic key, faces chiropractor and insurance adjuster Michael Addison and constitution school teacher Gregg Marcel Dixon.

On the Republican aspect, attorney Duke Buckner and guide A. Sonia Morris are looking for the nomination.

In the 5th District, which runs from Rock Hill to Sumter, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has no challengers in the principal. In November, he’ll deal with a person of two Democrats presently vying for their party’s nomination: Kevin Eckert, a local community organizer and technician, and builder and authentic estate agent Evangeline Hundley. Norman has been in Congress since 2017.

In the 2nd District, which incorporates the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has no key opposition for the seat he has represented given that 2001. His Democratic opponent in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his marketing campaign web site as a “husband, a pet father, a business enterprise operator, a college or university soccer enthusiast and a South Carolina indigenous.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan is unopposed in the principal and typical election as he seeks a seventh term in the 3rd District, which handles the northwest part of South Carolina.

In addition to the congressional races, Republican incumbents in three statewide places of work encounter primary troubles: the legal professional standard, secretary of point out and agriculture commissioner.

Legal professional General

Lawyer Typical Alan Wilson is trying to find a fourth expression. He is challenged by lawyer Lauren Martel, who claimed Wilson does a lot more talking than preventing for conservative positions these as shielding Accomplice monuments or fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates. No Democrats have entered the race.


Secretary of Condition Mark Hammond is staying challenged in the Republican key by Keith Blanford, who wishes to get the role of overseeing elections absent from a board appointed by the governor and give it to the Secretary of State’s Office environment.

A bill that would make that transition was proposed in the Standard Assembly this yr but in no way got a listening to. The Republican-dominated Legislature did overhaul election regulations to permit early voting.

The winner of the Republican main will encounter Democrat Rosemounda Peggy Butler in the tumble.


Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers has two opponents for the Republican nomination: Spartanburg County Soil and Water Commissioner Bill Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who works in the farming marketplace.

The winner will experience David Edmond of the Eco-friendly Social gathering and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Get together. If Bledsoe loses the Republican principal, he will operate in the typical election under the Constitutional Bash. This is the last yr that condition law allows candidates to operate for additional than one particular social gathering.


Each get-togethers have crowded fields soon after Republican Schooling Superintendent Molly Spearman determined not to operate again immediately after eight many years in the work.

Spearman at times disagreed with other Republican leaders, especially on challenges such as whether regional districts must be ready to mandate masks to guard towards COVID-19. That schism has ongoing into the Republican principal.

Spearman endorsed Kathy Maness, who is govt director of the Palmetto Condition Academics Association. Spearman states Maness has been a trainer and appreciates each the legislative system and how faculties function.

Numerous other Republican leaders have endorsed Ellen Weaver, the CEO of conservative think tank Palmetto Assure Institute and chairwoman of the state Schooling Oversight Committee. She also has the backing of preceding point out education and learning superintendents Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has lifted much more than $325,000, an amount of money not matched by any other prospect. Travis Bedson, who owns a foundation maintenance corporation, has elevated about $280,000, with most of that revenue coming from a $250,000 financial loan he manufactured to his campaign, according to marketing campaign finance reports. Bedson states South Carolina community educational institutions want a enterprise frame of mind to run greater.

Maness has raised about $115,000.

Weaver and Bedson facial area a different hurdle: Neither of them has the master’s degree that South Carolina legislation now calls for of a superintendent. Maness does. Both equally Weaver and Bedson say they are doing work on the innovative degree, but election officers claimed there is no precedent for what occurs if one of a single of them wins in November without having it.

Other Republicans running are Florence College District 1 Board Member Bryan Chapman, Greenville County Faculty Board member Lynda Leventis-Wells and Lexington elementary school instructor Kizzi Gibson.

Competing for the Democratic nomination are condition Rep. Jerry Govan, previous Anderson County Faculty District 4 Superintendent Gary Burgess and Lisa Ellis, founder of the instructor advocate group SC for Ed.


Abide by Jeffrey Collins on Twitter a


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