In the Republican primary for the District 5 seat on the York County Council, we endorse Christi Cox.
For the first time in more than two decades, the Curwood Chappell’s name will not be on the ballot in this race. The long-time incumbent decided not to run for re-election this year.
Two Republicans – and no Democrats – filed to run for the seat: Marty Taylor, a Fort Mill building inspector who ran against Chappell in the 2010 GOP primary, and Cox, a founding member of the Hamilton Martens Ballou & Carroll law firm in Rock Hill.
While both are qualified candidates, Cox stands out as determined, hard working and prepared to make a difference on the council as a self-proclaimed problem-solver. Chappell has endorsed her in this race.
Cox was born and raised in Rock Hill and has deep ties to the community. She is a 1993 graduate of Rock Hill High School and a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College with a degree in psychology. She later graduated from USC Law School in the top 10 percent of her class.
Cox labels herself a small-government, low-tax conservative who believes in maintaining local control. She stresses the importance of working with the county’s legislative delegation to ensure that the county retains control over its essential functions.
Like nearly all of the candidates running for county council this year, Cox cites road maintenance as a top priority. She suggests a program similar to Pennies for Progress, which funds new road projects, that could devote sales tax revenues instead to maintaining roads – such as “Pennies for Potholes.”
She puts a high priority on managing growth in the county and abiding by the county’s comprehensive land-use plan.
She also states that the county must guard against incursions by out-of-state waste and other “predatory special interests.” She has touted her work as an attorney in blocking private landfills in the county.
Cox’s campaign has focused on her opponent’s involvement in a proposed landfill project, which, along with another proposed landfill, has been contested by the county and tied up in court since 2008. She claims Taylor continues to seek authorization to build the landfill.
Taylor states – and provides documents to back him up – that he has divested himself of any direct involvement in the project and seeks only compensation from the county for losses he sustained while trying to get a permit to develop the landfill in the early 2000s.
We are not in a position to satisfactorily resolve these conflicting claims. But we don’t believe the issue is central to this campaign, either.
Cox, herself, has said the issue isn’t just landfills, it’s local control. And we agree that the county must be vigilant about permitting out-of-state waste to be dumped here.
Taylor has said that, no matter what the outcome of this race, he is content that he has acted honorably. And he seems sincere.
However, we believe that Cox would be the stronger council member, that her intellect and legal skills would be a significant asset, and that she would be an effective advocate for her constituents. As a woman, she also would bring some needed diversity to the council.
We hope voters will support her for the District 5 seat on Tuesday.