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Election day in Rock Hill -- your guide

Low turnout is expected today as voters go to the polls to decide two Rock Hill City Council contests. The Ward 1 seat won't appear on the ballot because only one candidate declared for it.

Here is a guide to the election:

Ward 1: Susie Hinton to succeed Searles

Because Hinton is running unopposed, her name will not appear on the ballot and she will automatically be declared the winner.

A community activist and former principal at St. Anne Catholic School, Hinton will succeed the late Winston Searles, who died in August at age 85.

Ward 1 is in the southeastern part of the city and includes much of downtown.

Ward 2: Kathy Pender versus Rodney Deason

The only officially contested race pits Deason, a Rock Hill native running for office for the first time, against Pender, an 18-year political veteran.

Deason singles out the $12 million Manchester Meadows soccer complex as emblematic of the city's misplaced priorities. More attention should be given to creating jobs and helping people keep their homes, he says.

Pender counters that Manchester generates tourism dollars through tournaments and other events. She wants to improve relations with neighborhoods and build on the city's housing programs.

Ward 2 is in the northeastern part of the city.

Ward 3: Kevin Sutton versus Vince Blackwell (write-in)

Blackwell, former president of the Rock Hill NAACP, said he entered the race late because he finds it a sin for anyone to run unopposed.

His name won't appear, but a blank space will be left for write-in votes. Blackwell takes on Sutton, the outspoken conservative who was elected to the council in 1994 at age 23.

Ward 3 is in the southeastern part of the city.

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