Incumbents win council runoffs

York County Councilman Roy Blake celebrates his runoff victory with his wife, Tommi Adams Blake, and supporters Tuesday at the Shabazz Cultural Center in Rock Hill.
York County Councilman Roy Blake celebrates his runoff victory with his wife, Tommi Adams Blake, and supporters Tuesday at the Shabazz Cultural Center in Rock Hill.

Incumbents claimed victories in Tuesday's runoffs for two York County Council seats.

Democrat Roy Blake edged out William "Bump" Roddey to stay in the race for the District 4 post, while Republican Tom Smith handily defeated David McCorkle to keep the District 2 seat.

Both challengers say they'll run for these seats again.

Blake and Smith each finished first in the June 10 party primaries. But with three candidates in both races, neither incumbent captured more than 50 percent of the votes cast, forcing the runoffs.

After clinching the Democratic nomination, Blake, 59, thanked voters for their support and said he now must prepare to face Republican Tom Hardin in November.

"We're still working right on," said Blake, who has represented southwestern Rock Hill for two terms. "We've got to get better organized and ... get my camp right so that we can put the word out and so that we can have another successful two years."

Blake has been an advocate of a waste-to-energy plant for trash disposal and a prescription drug card that provides discounts. He's also said water and sewer lines need to be extended to residents in the impoverished Blackmon Road community in his district.

His Democratic rival, Roddey, campaigned on his ability to bring a fresh vision to the county and a goal of attracting businesses by beautifying the district.

Roddey said the close results -- 61 votes, unofficially -- reflect his efforts.

"It was a pretty good campaign for me," the 34-year-old said of his first pursuit of public office. "I think I've gotten off to a pretty decent start with my political aspirations. I just look to use this experience to build on it."

Although he plans to run for the seat again in two years, Roddey said the community still needs to get behind a Democratic candidate in November's general election.

"Hopefully, things can get better for the district," he said. "Hopefully, the community can come together after this and build on it."

In District 2, Smith grasped the win he came just a handful of votes shy of having in the June 10 primary. He took nearly 64 percent of the votes cast Tuesday.

"I couldn't be more happy," said Smith, 44, who represents Clover and Lake Wylie. "I'm just glad it's over with."

Smith said he wants to finish the job he started on the council in 2007. His goals include working out a development agreement with large landowners for school sites and lower density on the lake, upfitting the staff for continuity and consistency, purchasing Carolina Water Service, and strengthening the county's anti-litter program.

His opponent, 54-year-old McCorkle, proposed bringing the community together through group meetings to discuss issues.

Despite losing the race, McCorkle said he'll begin campaigning for Smith's seat today. He said this year's campaign was a success in that he now has a foundation to build upon.

"This is only the beginning," he said. "We're not gonna quit. At least this time, we've got two years to prepare."

No Democrats have filed for the District 2 seat, meaning Smith will run unopposed.

County Council members serve two-year terms and are paid $15,500 annually.