York County Republican and medical industry consultant Robert Walker announced Friday that he'll run for the District Five seat on the York County Council this year.
Longtime County Councilman Curwood Chappell has held the seat for more than two decades. Chappell has not said whether he plans to run for re-election.
Walker, 49, joins the District Five race with town of Fort Mill building inspector Marty Taylor, also a Republican.
Taylor, 45, announced in early January his intent to run in the June 10 Republican primary. This years election would mark the second time that Taylor has challenged Chappell. In 2010, he lost in the primary by nearly 250 votes.
Walker, a U.S. Navy veteran, said on Friday: "I am not running against anyone. Rather, I am running for the people's seat."
A York County native and member of the Bethesda community, Walker has previously served as a York County Culture and Heritage Commissioner, as an ex-officio member of the York County Forever Commission. He is currently a board member of the Rock Hill/York County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
He also supports the Bethesda and other rural fire departments in the county, he said Friday.
"York County has been good to my family and me and now that I am in a position to have the time, I want to give back and serve the constituents of the fifth district," Walker said.
The role of the County Council, Walker said, is to provide basic services to residents, to help "them navigate the bureaucracy that has been created" and to keep taxes "at a bare minimum."
Walker says economic development for the area is also important but "my main duty (if elected to the council) will be to represent what is in the best interest of my constituents as a whole."
His opponent in the upcoming primary, Taylor, has said he'll bring "laser-focused energy," if elected to County Council.
Much of Taylor's campaign platform is centered around attracting more businesses to the area and lobbying state lawmakers to rethink what he calls "an anti-business tax code."
In announcing his candidacy on Friday, Walker said he is not soliciting and will not accept donations for his campaign. "All I ask for is your vote and support," he said.
Walker is a member of the York County Republican Party, an auxiliary member of the York County Republican Women and a member of GPS/Conservatives for Action, a political action committee. He is also a member of the York County Genealogical and Historical Society, the Yorkville Society, Historic Rock Hill, the Fort Mill History Museum and the Sons of the American Revolution.
He holds an undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College and graduate degrees from Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and Winthrop University. Walker received his doctoral degree from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Nova Southeastern University.
All York County Council seats are up for re-election this year. Filing opens March 16 at noon and closes March 30 at noon. Primary elections will be held June 10. General election day is Nov. 4.
Anna Douglas 803-329-4068