Sheriff, Probate judge, Council chairman and House races to be contested in June primaries

Only four races will be contested in the June Democratic Primary after 16 candidates filed for various state and county offices up for grabs. Filing closed at noon Wednesday for the state Republican and Democratic primaries, which will be contested June 14. Thirteen Clarendon residents filed to run as Democrats in the primary, while one Sumter resident filed there to run as a Republican. One Clarendon resident filed as a Republican. Ultimately, only Clarendon County Council chairman, House District 64, Clarendon County Probate judge and the Clarendon County sheriff races will see actual competition. Chairman Dwight Stewart has filed for a fifth term, and will face opposition from Robert A. McFadden Sr. in the Democratic Primary. McFadden previously ran for elected office in 2014 as a Republican for the House District 64 seat. In that race, incumbent Rep. Robert L. Ridgeway III will face opposition from Alexander "Herc" Conyers and W. Mitchell Ellerby. For Clarendon County Probate judge, current Deputy Probate Judge Margaret "Peggi" Jackson Sorrell will face social worker Peggy Knox. In the Clarendon County sheriff's race, incumbent Sheriff Randy Garrett will seek a third term against political newcomer and recently retired state Department of Natural Resources Capt. Tim Baxley. With no Republican candidates having filed for those races, the winner in the June primary will be the presumptive winner of November's general election. Other incumbents filing for re-election include Sen. Kevin Johnson, Clarendon County District 2 Councilman A.C. English, Clarendon County Coroner Hayes F. Samuels and Clarendon County Clerk of Court Beulah Roberts. Other candidates include Republican Rev. Leon Winn, who is running once again for that party's nomination for the District 36 Senate race; and Republican candidate for Clarendon County Council District 2 Joe Witt. In Williamsburg County, Cezar McKnight has filed for a second term, with no opposition in the Democratic primary there. His House District 101 seat covers four precincts in Clarendon County. Only one incumbent declined to run for re-election: Probate Judge Kathy Geddings said last month that she will retire when her second term is complete in January 2017 to spend more time with family.


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