Incumbent supervisor Roddey wins big in Chester, appears to avoid runoff

Countywide politicial experience and a pending economic development announcement that is expected to include 1,500 new jobs for Chester County helped incumbent Carlisle Roddey easily defeat two challengers for county supervisor.

He appears to have avoided a runoff.

“This wasn’t me winning tonight, this was Chester County winning tonight,” said Roddey, 76, who has been in office since 2006. He’s in his second stint as supervisor after holding the office for 24 years from 1974 to 1998.

Roddey won with almost 57 percent of the votes, according to unofficial totals released by Chester County and state elections officials. A candidate who garners more than 50 percent of the votes in a primary avoids a runoff.

Provisional ballots and any challenges over the state’s new Voter ID law will be considered Thursday morning by election officials, but it appears that Roddey won without need for a runoff, said Earl Moore, Chester County elections director.

Roddey grabbed 1,937 of 3,411 votes cast, unofficial totals showed. Wanda Stringfellow, a three-term mayor of the City of Chester, finished a distant second with 999 votes, which was just under 30 percent of the total cast in the race in predominantly Democratic county. A third Democratic candidate for supervisor, Chester County Sheriff’s Office deputy Randy Marsh, finished a distant third with 475 votes for about 14 percent of the total.

Roddey parlayed recent drops in county unemployment with plans for a manufacturing plant allegedly in the automotive industry into political success. Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to be in Chester Monday to identify the company that’s expected to build a plant that Roddey has championed as critical to revitalizing Chester’s economy. Chester, a small county with about 33,000 people, has struggled for more than a decade with high unemployment after textile mills closed.

The Chester County supervisor oversees capital projects.

“The future isn’t tomorrow in Chester County, the future is right now,” Roddey said after his election.

The supervisor in Chester runs day-to-day operations of county government, prepares a county budget, and chairs the county council. The job pays about $82,000 per year. No Republicans filed for the office but at least two candidates are trying to seek write-in status for the November general election, so Roddey wasn’t ready Tuesday night to declare that he will keep his job without another contest in the fall.

“We won this one and it looks like we won’t need a runoff but there’s a lot of time before we can say we got this one in the bag and ready to take home,” Roddey said.

Turnout for elections in heavily Democratic Chester County was about 21 percent of the county’s 19,887 registered voters. Election officials reported 4,185 votes cast, but that does not include provisional ballots to be counted Thursday.