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District 55: Jenkins victorious; runoffs slated for 2 seats

2 of 3 seats contested Tuesday in a District 55 Board of Trustees special election will be decided by runoffs

Chip Jenkins won a special election Tuesday to fill Seat 7 on the Laurens County School District 55 Board of Trustees, but two other seats will be decided in an upcoming runoff.

Jenkins, a consulting engineer from Laurens, was a landslide winner over Shenese Gilmore and Josie Cummings Parker with 211 votes. Gilmore picked up 91 votes and Parker 64.

Seats 1 and 3 were also contested in the special election and both will be decided by runoffs on Aug. 15.

Tabitha Keitt was the top vote-getter for Seat 1 with 105 votes and will face Kelvin L. Byrd (79 votes) in the runoff. Byrd edged Jerome D. Parson (76 votes) and James Lang (75 votes) to qualify for the runoff.

Angela Lowe Wells finished with 106 votes and is joined in the Seat 3 runoff by Heather Hall Elders (93 votes) in a four-way race that also included Adam Brown (32 votes) and Adam Brock (29 votes).

The special election was necessitated after three trustees resigned in April and May, citing a residency change, accepting a job with the S.C. Board of Education and frustration with a growing chasm among board members.

Polls for the runoffs for Seat 1 and Seat 3 will be open on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Early voting will be held Aug. 9-11.

Results from Tuesday’s election are unofficial and expected to be certified by the S.C. Election Commission Friday.

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