Primaries: McDaniel, Douglas Face Runoff for House 41 Seat

MaryGail Douglas

The race for State House of Representatives District 41 two-year term has boiled down to a contest between the ladies. On Tuesday, Fairfield County voters, along with voters in a portion of Chester and Richland counties, narrowed the contest to two of five candidates.

Winning 37.44 percent of th

Annie McDaniel

e votes in Fairfield and parts of Richland and Chester areas of the district was Annie McDaniel, a Fairfield County School Board member and payroll clerk for the Charleston County School District. MaryGail Douglas, who worked for many years at the Fairfield County Council on Aging, won 28.19 percent of the vote.

“One candidate must win 51 percent of the vote,” said Fairfield County Voter Registration and Elections Director Debby Stidham. “Therefore, there will be a runoff election on Tuesday, June 26 to determine the winner.”

The other candidates included Paul Dove, who garnered 13.64 percent, Palmer Nicholson with 15.92 percent and E. Sutton with 4.80 percent. The winner of the June 26 runoff will face Republican candidate William Gray November 6 in the general election.

Voters will also see a runoff for the County Sheriff’s race. Candidates Will Montgomery, who won 30.05 percent of the vote will challenge current Sheriff Herman young, whose votes totaled 40.88 percent. Eddie L. Big Ed White received 29.08 percent.

Fairfield County Clerk of Court incumbent Betty Jo Beckham will retain her position, besting challenger Dorothy Boyd Belton 56.45 percent to 43.55 percent.

The voter turnout in Fairfield County was 32.31 percent. Of the 15,424 registered voters, 4,983 ballots were cast.

Two employees from the Department of Justice were assigned to Fairfield County for Tuesday’s election. The department routinely monitors elections in Southern states to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That act prevents discrimination on the basis of race and color.

“Two people from the Department of Justice came to the Fairfield County elections office Monday and asked general questions about how we run the elections — how many poll workers do we have, fail safe procedures — nothing out of the norm,” Stidham said. “It was information right out of the Poll Watchers Handbook. They didn’t ask anything specific. They said they would be going around to the precincts to monitor the polls.”

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