Fort Mill Times

School board incumbent not running

Martha Kinard
Martha Kinard

The ballots will be crowded in November.

Township voters will choose a county council representative for York County, a York County Coroner, state House and Senate representatives and in two new School Board members for Fort Mill. In Indian Land voters will elect a County Council representative, a county treasurer, auditor and coroner, as well as a state Senate and House representative.Among the names that


be on the ballot, however, are two longtime Fort Mill School board incumbents. Lewis Graham and Martha Kinard who are not seeking re-election. Unlike the other races, school board is nonpartisan, and all members are elected at-large."Trying to maintain local control is going to be a huge challenge," Kinard, who formerly served as board chairwoman, said of issues facing her eventual successor. "There has been a move from the state to take away local control, not just with finances, there's also the mandated start dates."After two terms, Graham said he's gotten too busy at work and with family obligations to seek another term. Township resident and stay-at-home dad Scott Patterson has already announced his plans to seek one of the two seats. Graham is supporting Patterson's bid."Scott did it like I did, coming up through the schools volunteering and serving on the improvement councils," Graham said.In other races, Dick Rowell has filed for the treasurer race in Lancaster County as a Democrat. Democrats Cheryl Morgan and Mike Morris, an incumbent, have filed for auditor and coroner, respectively. Barry Faile also filed to run for Lancaster County Sheriff. No Republicans had filed for those seats by press time Monday. One Republican, Larry McCullough, has filed for the District One County Council seat, currently held by Bryan Vaughn, who is not seeking re-election.No Democrats had filed for that race Monday.Republican Mick Mulvaney plans to run for the Senate District 16 seat, which covers parts of Lancaster and York counties. Political newcomer, and Democrat, Mandy Norrell also filed for that seat. Another Democrat, Tony Starnes, currently the Kershaw Town Administrator filed to run for the House District 45 seat, which Mulvaney is vacating to seek the Senate seat.In York County, Sen. Wes Hayes filed for re-election to the Senate District 15 seat. Dr. Deborah Long and Bruce Miller both filed for the House District 45 seat, which means there will be a primary battle for the Republican nomination to that office in June. Incumbent York County Councilman Paul Lindemann also plans to seek re-election, according to York County Republican Party Chair Glenn McCall. Coroner Sabrina Gast also filed for re-election to the office she was appointed to fill in September 2006.On the Democratic side, Pete Skidmore of Fort Mill filed for the coroner's race.York County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Watkins said he's looking forward to November's elections."I have no idea if the national issues will play into the local races or not, but I think it's a good year to be a Democrat," he said. "Issues that are dinner table issues like the economy will reflect in the voting patterns."The party saw a 35 percent increase last Thursday during its county convention over the last time the precinct officers were elected, Watkins said.His Republican counterpart, Glen McCall, agrees the economy will likely loom large over both national and local races. McCall said the school funding issue will probably matter to York County voters too."I don't think the war will play into the elections locally," McCall said. "It's more so the economy, and it's not predicted to improve much between now and November."Filing for the primary elections opened Sunday at noon and will remain open until Saturday, March 30 at noon. Candidates are required to file with their parties, not the Registrations and Elections office as in general elections. In York County Democrats can turn in completed applications at the offices of Morton & Gettys at 334 Oakland Ave., Republicans can turn in applications at the offices of Harrelson, Hayes & Guyton at 200 Oakland Ave., both in Rock Hill.Lancaster County residents who intend to run for an office should contact their county party offices for information on filing.

Fort Mill Times Indian Land reporter Jenny Overman contributed to this story.