Skip to content

Keitt, Elders win District 55 school board seats

Tabitha Keitt

Heather Elders

Tabitha Keitt and Heather Hall Elders won Tuesday’s special election runoff for two seats on the Laurens County District 55 Board of Trustees.

Elders defeated Angela Lowe Wells by 14 votes (156-142) in the runoff for Seat 3.

Keitt picked up 74 more votes from her 105 vote total in the Aug. 1 special election to win Seat 1 179-88 over opponent Kelvin Byrd.

The runoff decided the final two seats that will bring the District 55 Board of Trustees back to its full complement of seven members.

Wells was the top vote-getter among three candidates in the Seat 3 special election, but Elders bounced back to win the runoff.

Elders picked up 63 votes in the runoff, while Wells picked up 36.

Chip Jenkins won a three-way race for Seat 7 on Aug. 1.

Tuesday’s results complete a special election during which 11 candidates were vying for three seats on the board.

The seats opened up due to three resignations by board members this past April.

Neal Patterson resigned when he moved out of District 3; James “Bubba” Rawl resigned from Seat 7 in early April to take a job with the state Department of Education; and Todd Varner resigned from Seat 1 after citing internal strife among members of the board.

Only 7% of registered voters cast ballots in the runoff. Of the 564 who voted, 482 voted on Tuesday, and 82 took advantage of an early voting period that began on Aug. 9.

The new board members are expected to be seated at the board’s next regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 28.

They will join board chair Cathy Little, Mike Hughes, vice-chair Anthony Carpenter and Peggy Nance.

Results from Tuesday’s runoff are unofficial until they are certified by the S.C. Election Commission on Friday.

Leave a Comment