Lawyer will use local ties in York Co. Council District 5 race

03/26/2014 8:48 PM

03/27/2014 7:36 AM

A Republican challenger for the York County Council District 5 seat plans to use her deep community ties and local upbringing to stand out from the crowd.

Christi Cox, a founding member of Hamilton Martens Ballou & Carroll law firm in Rock Hill, said if elected she will work to preserve local control, protect the community from “state waste and other predatory special interests,” and improve infrastructure in a growing region.

“The closer we get the power to people’s hands, the better off we’ll be,” Cox said, expressing a sentiment held by longtime District 5 incumbent and fellow Republican Curwood Chappell.

As of Wednesday, Chappell had not yet filed for re-election with the state Election Commission and hasn’t publicly commented on his plans.

The filing period closes Sunday. All other council incumbents have filed for re-election.

Another Republican challenger in District 5 is Fort Mill building inspector Marty Taylor.

Rock Hill medical consultant Bobby Walker on Wednesday withdrew his candidacy for District 5 and instead filed a run for a state House seat in District 49. Walker will run against Democratic incumbent John King.

Walker said that his decision to leave the county race was to not “split the vote” between himself and the two other challengers. He had initially announced his run for council earlier this year.

Cox officially filed her bid on Monday and said she felt it was time to give residents another “choice” for representation.

“Over the past 10 years, I have volunteered my time and worked behind the scenes to help Councilman Curwood Chappell fight issues facing our district,” Cox wrote in a written statement. “Councilman Chappell has served us well and deserves our respect and appreciation.”

The candidate would not comment on whether she had spoken with Chappell regarding her run.

Cox specializes in commercial and administrative legislation with the Hamilton Martens Ballou & Carroll firm and is the youngest founding member. The downtown firm has been contracted by the county to represent it in a current lawsuit against the owners of the derelict Morningstar tower in Fort Mill.

The District 5 native said she already plays an active role in community functions and serves on several local boards. Cox is secretary for The Haven men’s homeless shelter, a member and volunteer of Neely’s Creek ARP Church, and a treasurer of the York County Bar Association.

She and her husband have three children.

“I’m asking folks that I know to get out and support me,” Cox said of her grass-roots campaign strategy. The people that raised me are the people I’m seeking to represent.”

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