PICKENS COUNTY — Lines stretched out the doors of polling places across Pickens County as residents turned out in droves to cast their ballots on Election Day.
In Easley, one of the hot button issues on the ballot was the highly contested Sunday alcohol sales referendum put on the ballot after a 6-1 vote by the Easley City Council.
“I just don’t think we need it,” said Harriet Massingale as she waited in line to vote. “I’m certainly not going to vote for it. I can’t imagine why anyone else would either.”
In the end, the measure passed by more than 1,400 votes, making the sale of beer and wine on Sunday legal within the city limits. At 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, the total vote was 4,998 YES votes and 3,512 NO votes. Seven precincts were still out at that time.
In the race for U.S. Senate Seat 2, incumbent Republican Tim Scott faced a fairly large crowd of candidates vying for his seat. In the end, the race came down to Scott and Democrat Thomas Dixon with Scott garnering 79 percent of the vote to Dixon’s 16 percent. Results from reporting polls had Scott ahead of Dixon 32,452 to 6,625.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) successfully defended his seat against Democratic challenger Hosea Cleveland for House District 3 and Thomas C. Alexander (R), who ran unopposed, retained his spot in the State Senate District 1.
Also claiming victory after running unopposed was Rick Clark for Pickens County Sheriff and Rex Rice (R) for State Senate District 2. Rice takes the place of long time Sen. Larry Martin, whom he beat in a runoff following June’s primary. Clark claimed the Republican spot on the general election ballot after defeating Tim Morgan.
In the race for House District 3, Rep. Gary Clary (R) successfully defended his seat from Libertarian Travis McCurry. Clary had 7,274 votes to McCurry’s 1,435 at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday with 54 of the precincts reporting.
Similarly, Rep. Davey Hiott (R) easily defeated Joey Lum to retain his seat in the House District 4 and Rep. Neal Collins, who ran unopposed, will return to House District 5.
In House District 10, incumbent Joshua Putnam (R) faced off against Anna Brown (D). In the end, it was Putnam on top with unofficial voting results showing a vote of 1,525 to 343.
The positions of Pickens County Clerk of Court, Coroner, Auditor and Treasurer all remained in the hands of Pat Welborn, Kandy Kelley, Brent Suddeth and Dale Looper, respectively. All four Republican candidates ran unopposed and were summarily re-elected on Tuesday night.
In County Council District 3, the Pickens area, Wes Hendricks (R) will replace councilman Randy Crenshaw (R) who was knocked out of the running in the primary. Hendricks was alone on Tuesday’s ballot following a narrow victory over Alex Saitta (R) in the primary runoff back in June.
The Liberty area of County Council, District 4, will also see changes as G. Neil Smith (R) was also knocked off the ballot back in June by Roy Costner (R) who, without a Democrat filing, sailed to an easy win on Tuesday.
County Council District 5, Easley, will see Chris Bowers (R) claim the vacated seat of Jennifer Willis, who elected not to run for another term. Bowers defeated a large field in the primary but ran unopposed in the general election.
District 6 (Dacusville) elected Carl Hudson (R) to replace Tom Ponder who also decided not to seek another term.
George Bryant of Easley was elected as Soil and Water District Commissioner.
Three Pickens County School Board non-partisan positions were up for grabs this election including Clemson, Pickens and Easley.
In District 1 (Clemson), Betty Bagley ran unopposed on Tuesday as did Betty Garrison for District 5 (Easley.) Both were elected.
After his unsuccessful bid for the Pickens seat of County Council in June, Alex Saitta decided to run again to retain his seat as School Board Trustee of (Pickens) District 3. The race came down between Saitta and Shannon Hasket.
In the races for Watershed District Commissioners, Eric McConnell and Scott Smart were the top votegetters for Brushy Creek, John H. Cutchin won Georges Creek, Drake Curry and David Gilstrap claimed Oolenoy and J. Mark Bishop, W. H. McAbee III and Phil Tripp took Three and Twenty.
Easley wasn’t the only city with a referendum on the Sunday sales of alcohol. The town Central was as well. Like Easley, the measure passed.
Residents in the Shady Grove area voted on whether to increase the fire tax millage rate to 4.6 mils to correct the current operating deficit and to add additional manpower. The referendum passed handily.
Out in Clemson, two races were decided on Tuesday: the mayor as well as three spots on Clemson City Council.
J.C. Cook III ran unopposed and was named Clemson’s Mayor.
For City Council, seven candidates were on the ballot for the three open seats. In the end, the numbers were too close to call on Tuesday night.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.