Calhoun-Ware fends off challenge; Little, Earle take District 55 seats

Laurens County School District 55 Board of Trustees Chair Susan Calhoun-Ware survived a challenge for her District 6 seat on the board during Tuesday night’s general election.

Calhoun-Ware defeated David Underwood with 57.1 percent of the vote, receiving 794 total votes compared to 588 for Underwood.

“I love giving my time, my energy and my effort and my expertise in whatever I can do to make life better for the children,” said Calhoun-Ware. “It’s not about me. It’s about them. If we have them first in the forefront in everything that we do, it will be better for them.”

Calhoun-Ware was the only incumbent running in District 55.

Cathy Little won a three-person race for Seat 2 with 63.2 percent of the vote, and Mark Earle was the victor for Seat 4 with 63 percent of the vote.

“I got out there and tried to talk to as many people as possible,” said Little, who replaces the outgoing Mike Fortune on the board. “I was so proud that so many members of the community, when I knocked on their door, were so concerned about what’s going in our district and wanted to know more. … I fee like the community is involved and wants to be more involved.”

Little received 1,190 votes, while former Laurens County Sheriff Jim Moore finished with 505 votes (26.8 percent) and Bessie Eaddy Williams had 180 votes (9.6 percent).

Earle, an educator at Hillcrest High School, received 846 votes to hold off Steve Cole with 482 votes in Seat 4. That seat is being vacated by Jim Lollis.

In District 56, incumbents Tammy Stewart (Seat 5), Jan Simmons (Seat 6) and Keith Richardson (Seat 7) all ran unopposed.

Several other county elections, including three seats on the Laurens County Council were finalized during the general election. Incumbent Stewart Jones (District 4) along with newcomers Kemp Younts (District 1) and Jeffrey Carroll (District 5) – all Republicans – ran unopposed and won their respective GOP primaries.

Rep. Mike Pitts (R-Laurens) also ran unopposed and will return to his District 14 seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives, as will Rep. Mark Willis (District 16) and newcomer Doug Gilliam (District 42).

Other unopposed offices finalized during the general election were: Probate Judge ­– Kaye Fridy, County Auditor – Jim Coleman and County Treasurer – Cynthia Burke.

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