Fountain Inn businessman Kemp Younts got strong showings in the Greenpond and Jones voting districts to win Tuesday’s Republican Primary run-off election for the District 1 seat on Laurens County Council.
Younts defeated Susan K. Thackston, collecting 55 percent of the vote and winning 510 votes to 413.
“I’m extremely grateful to the people in the district,” Younts said. “I’m excited about getting in and learning the ropes. I’m humbled, too. I’m looking forward to the challenge of serving the people in District 1.
With no Democratic challenger in November’s General Election, Younts will be the presumptive winner, taking the seat currently occupied by the retiring Ted Nash.
Voting was close between Younts and Thackston in four of the six District 1 precincts, but Younts was buoyed by support in Jones and Greenpond. He won Greenpond 146 votes to 68 and Jones 102 votes to 67.
“I know a good many folks down there around Greenpond, and the Jones district is sort of my old stomping grounds, too,” Younts said.
Thackston, a retired healthcare worker, said she was disappointed in the results of her first foray into local politics.
“I did quite a bit,” she said of her campaign. “I probably did a little more face-to-face (campaigning). . . . I want to congratulate Mr. Younts, and I want to thank everybody who supported me.”
Younts said he has no particular agenda heading into office in January, but will spend the rest of the year learning about issues facing the county before he is installed in office.
“I’m going to start going to meetings on Tuesday nights ASAP,” he said. “So when I get there I’ll already know what they’re talking about.”
In the statewide runoffs, GOP challenger John Warren won Laurens County, taking 53 percent of the vote (2,872-2534), defeating Gov. Henry McMaster. McMaster, however, was expected to win the runoff. With 85 percent of precincts reporting across the state, McMaster had collected 52 percent of the vote.
In the runoff for S.C. Attorney General, Laurens County voters were in line with the rest of the state, supporting incumbent Alan Wilson with 68 percent of the vote over challenger Rep. Todd Atwater. Wilson won the county with 3,611 votes to 1,580 votes for Atwater. Statewide numbers were similar with Wilson declared the winner with 65 percent of the vote.