York County Councilman David Bowman provided the biggest surprise Friday as the filing period for local partisan offices closed.
Bowman announced a half-hour before filing closed at noon that he will not run again for re-election, citing health reasons.
Bowman, a first-term Republican representing Fort Mill in York County’s District 1 seat, announced he would not run again in a news release Friday.
Bowman later said he decided not to run in the last couple of days.
“I really would like to continue on,” he said.
Bowman recently had hip surgery and will likely need more extensive surgery “sooner rather than later,” he said in the release.
“It is disappointing to only be able to provide this civic duty to my county for only one term,” Bowman said in the release. “However, my medical challenge, coupled with the young age of my children, the redrawing of the district lines, and the fact that my small business is still in its infancy, make the decision the right one at this time for my family and me.”
Less of Fort Mill is in District 1 than before the council recently redrew its district lines, said Bowman, who now lives on the eastern part of the district.
On Friday, Bowman endorsed Republican candidate and friend Michael Johnson, a Tega Cay resident and Fort Mill attorney.
Johnson, 41, who serves on the Fort Mill school board will be a positive addition to the council if he faces no opposition, Bowman said.
Bowman said he looks forward to completing his term on the council and addressing several remaining issues and finishing projects in the works. They include working toward a resolution to the county’s debate with the MorningStar tower’s owners and seeking an “overdue merit pay increase for deserving, long-term county employees” and staff members at the solicitor’s and sheriff’s offices.
“There’s still work to be done,” he said.
Five Democrats filed for local races in York County, including three incumbents.
A sixth Democrat, Joyce Knott of Rock Hill, filed to run in the November congressional elections against Republican U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land.
“We wish we had more Democratic candidates, but we’re very proud of the ones that we have,” said Pat Calkins, chairperson of the York County Democratic Party.
Calkins said the party had talked with “a number of people” about running for the newly created S.C. House District 26 seat, for which only one Republican filed, but “We just didn’t find anyone who was ready to do that.”
“The day will come” when more Democrats run for office in York County, “and we look forward to that day,” she said.