BW chamber endorses only one council candidate

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Chamber of Commerce board has narrowed its choice of candidates to one of three running for two seats in the Nov. 2, town council election.

An announcement issued by the chamber earlier this week endorsed only candidate Rich McKenrick. The endorsement comes ahead of the candidate forum which will be conducted by the chamber later this month.

The other two candidates running for office are current Councilman Sloan Griffin, Jr., and Roxann Henagan, a newcomer to Blythewood politics. 

Two-term councilman Larry ‘Griff’ Griffin, who holds one of the open seats, dropped out of the race for his re-election bid three weeks ago.  In the non-partisan Blythewood election, the two top vote getters will be seated.

The chamber’s announcement, dated Oct. 14, was forwarded to The Voice by a town resident. The Voice, a member of the chamber, did not receive a notification from the chamber about the endorsement. Both Sloan Griffin and Henagan said they were not interviewed or notified by the chamber about the endorsement.

The endorsement email passed along to The Voice listed McKenrick’s qualifications and noted that “he has repeatedly demonstrated his support of our local Chamber of Commerce and its mission to serve and support local businesses.”

The Chamber has received close to $140,000 from the Town government over the last five years for events and elite memberships. Town council is the body that votes on whether or not to provide that funding.

“Mr. McKenrick has honorably served as the town of Blythewood’s representative to the Richland County TPAC, led the recent Town of Blythewood Stakeholder Survey initiative as current Chair of the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission, numerous civic 501 (c) 3 organizations and has publicly demonstrated his passion for the Town of Blythewood and its future while being a champion of fiscal responsibility in doing so,” the endorsement letter stated. It also lauded his being a small business owner. 

Griffin served two years on the planning commission before he was elected to the council seat vacated by Bryan Franklin when he was elected mayor two years ago.

McKenrick lives in the Ashley Oaks neighborhood. Griffin and Henagan both live in the Cobblestone Park neighborhood.

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