York County residents have a chance to meet candidates vying for their votes in local, state and federal races all on the same stage tonight.
What: The Rock Hill chapter of the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority are hosting a forum with candidates from the 5th Congressional District, S.C. Senate districts 15 and 17 and York County Councils Rock Hill districts.
Where: St. Marys Catholic Church, 902 Crawford Road, Rock Hill.
When: Doors open at 5 p.m.; forum begins at 6 p.m.
Why: The forum is a rare opportunity for voters to see candidates for all levels of government in the same forum, said Rick Whisonant, who teaches political science at York Technical College and will moderate the forum.
Because of the nature of our politics today, were bitterly divided on partisan lines, he said. The issues will likely center on jobs and how we can have a decorum in each of the three levels to work together to promote the well-being of the county, well-being of the state, and well-being of the nation.
How: Candidates will offer opening statements and answer questions from the audience. Organizers will ask audience members to write questions on note cards before the forum begins.
5th Congressional District
Includes York, Chester and Lancaster counties and all or part of 11 others
U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, will face Democrat Joyce Knott of Rock Hill. Congress is in session today, so Mulvaney will send a representative, a spokesperson said.
• Mulvaney grew up in Charlotte and served single terms in the state House and Senate before unseating long-time incumbent U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-York, in 2010.
• Knott, a Spartanburg native, and her husband own a small merchandising business in Rock Hill. She worked full-time on Spratts campaign staff.
Senate District 15
Includes northern Rock Hill and central York County
State Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, who has served in the Legislature for 27 years, faces his first challenge since 1992 in Joe Thompson, a petition candidate from York with tea party ties.
• Hayes is an attorney specializing in personal injury and Social Security litigation. He serves on Senate committees on banking, finance, education, and medical affairs and is chairman of the ethics committee.
• An Illinois native who moved to York County in 2002, Thompson is president of the District 5 Patriots tea party group. He manages FHS Supply in Clover, a company that sells racing oils and fuels.
Senate District 17
Includes part of Western York County, including York and McConnells, and Fairfield and Chester counties
State Sen. Creighton Coleman, D-Winnsboro, will face Republican Bob Carrison of Winnsboro.
• Coleman, an attorney, served in the state House from 2001 to 2008, when he was elected to the Senate, where he serves on the judiciary, general, corrections and penology, and fish, game and forestry committees.
• Carrison is a former small business owner and Vietnam veteran, according to the Fairfield County Republican Party website.
York County Council District 4
Includes much of southern Rock Hill
Councilman Bump Roddey of Rock Hill will face petition candidate Roy Blake of Rock Hill.
• Roddey, a Democrat serving his first term, is a graduate of Northwestern High School and Winthrop University who works as a laboratory technician at Abitibi Bowater.
• Blake served on the County Council for three terms before losing to Roddey in the 2010 Democratic primary. The Vietnam War veteran works as an independent insurance underwriter.
York County Council District 6
Includes Northern Rock Hill and Newport
One of the countys most contentious races pits County Council Chairman Britt Blackwell of Rock Hill against petition candidate Gary Williams of Rock Hill.
• Blackwell, an eye doctor with a practice on Ebenezer Road, is a Republican serving his first term.
• Williams, who owns a debt collection agency, filed as a Republican ahead of Junes primary races but was removed from the ballot along with more than 200 other primary challengers because of improperly filed paperwork.
Register to vote
Oct 6 is the last day to register for the Nov. 6 general election.
For information on how to download a voter registration application and how to submit it, go to yorkcountygov.com and click on Registration and Elections under Departments, or go to scvotes.org.
Not sure if youre registered?
Check your voter registration status online at scvotes.org or call the York County Registration and Elections Office at 803-684-1242.