Meet House district 101 challenger, Rev Alfred Darby
by Laura Stone | June 8, 2018 5:17 pm
Last Updated: June 8, 2018 at 10:41 am
Reverend Alfred Darby, House of Representatives candidate for District 101, is from Trio in Williamsburg County. After graduating from Williamsburg High School in 1979, Darby obtained a general associates degree from Anderson College. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from the University of South Carolina in 1983.
Darby accepted a position in 1983 as a social studies teacher for Williamsburg-Blakely High School in Salters. He left that position to teach social studies at C.E. Murray High School in Greelyville, where he taught until 2006. During this time, he earned a Master of Education from Winthrop College in 1991 and took an additional 30 hours of secondary administration coursework. In 2000 Darby was certified as a high school administrator by The Citadel.
Darby was appointed as assistant principal at C.E. Murray High School in 2006, subsequently becoming Director for Student Services for the Williamsburg County School District. Darby retired in 2012 and successfully ran for a seat on the Williamsburg County School Board, a position he still holds today.
Called into the ministry in 1987, Darby took theology courses at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia. He pastored his first church in 1990 at Reeseville AME Church in Alcolu. He moved to Biggers AME Church in Manning from late 1990-95. He then pastored Mount Zion AME Church in Georgetown from 1995-2014, moving to Nazareth AME Church in Georgetown, where he has been for the last three years.
With a strong background in education, Darby sees the disparity between city and rural school districts and feels funding needs to be equalized, providing more opportunities for rural students. He would like to see newer schools constructed in areas where they don’t have the local tax base to afford new school construction and where school buildings have become run down.
He wishes to see higher salaries and higher retirement pay for teachers, and he will push for improved technical education in his district as well. He feels this would provide training for in-demand job skills, drawing big industry to the area. Darby has stated he will donate a portion of his legislation salary toward small scholarships for the schools in his district.
Darby also sees the unevenness in economic growth in rural areas and feels strongly that economic growth needs to be targeted in economically depressed areas. He would like to see the state offer stronger incentives to industries who locate in economically depressed areas, and he will aggressively push for growth in his district.
“By working with other legislators in rural areas and finding common ground, you can get things done,” said Darby.
Darby plans to hold quarterly town council meetings, so his constituents can voice concerns and ask questions. These meetings will rotate throughout his district. He wants to ensure Clarendon County residents in his district do not feel neglected but receive equal attention.
“[Clarendon County residents’] needs and concerns may be different than in Williamsburg County,” said Darby. He will ensure Clarendon County is included in his rotating town hall meetings.
Darby believes delegations should work with, not dictate to, the local governing bodies. He will hold regular meetings with county and town councils in his district. This will ensure they are all “on one page” with regard to his district’s needs, so they can work in harmony rather than against one another.
“We must do more to reach our young people before they reach the prison systems,” said Darby. As prisons become more crowded, Darby feels the state could instate more youth programs to help young people avoid the path that leads to incarceration.
Darby will push to improve roads, bridges and infrastructure, along with water and sewer, to provide a better living environment for his district and to draw in big business, although he does not support the creation of toll roads. He also hopes to improve hospital conditions in several Williamsburg County areas.
“I envision more environmentally friendly industry coming in. Industry brings tax base, which strengthens public education,” said Darby.
Darby feels his love of dealing with people, his concern about the interests of others, his experience in the education system and his communication skills will serve him well in the House of Representatives.
“I want to run to serve the people,” said Darby.