Many have spent a good part of their year campaigning and have already won their primaries. Others have recently ramped up their efforts as the General Election draws near.
And what a year it has been.
With a global pandemic to contend with, candidates have had to change the way they would normally campaign, whether it’s through virtual forums or digital “meet and greets” or drive-by events with candidates waving at a distance.
So if you haven’t already voted in-person and are wondering who is on the ballot this election, use this edition as a starting point. After all, it’s your vote. Make it count.
– Mindy Lucas
MAYOR – CITY OF BEAUFORT
Education: Beaufort High School; USC Beaufort (non-degree)
Civic/Political Experience: Elected to two terms on Beaufort City Council, Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce – past chairman; Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation – founding chairman; South Coast Cyber Center – vice chairman; Beaufort Digital Corridor – board/founder; Leadership South Carolina – past trustee; Leadership Beaufort Alumni Association – past president.
Family: Married with two children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected mayor? We live in a great hometown with a unique quality of life. However, rapid regional growth, young folks leaving, aging infrastructure, a lack of affordable housing and a lack of high-paying jobs all threaten our quality of life and authenticity. But we can still preserve the things we hold precious while shaping the future to evolve into an even more remarkable hometown. This will require committed, proactive leadership that understands these challenges, and how to affect change in City Hall while working with our regional partners. I understand the issues and have a demonstrated track record of bringing people together, setting goals, and accomplishing real results. Please see my website at www.murrayformayor.com for more information.
Education: Beaufort High School; U.S. Military Retired U.S. Coast Guardsman, 21 years; Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office; Texas A&M University; USC Beaufort; S.C. Criminal Justice Academy
Civic/ Political Experience: Served on Historic District Review Board – vice Chair; Beaufort Redevelopment Commission – vice chair; Beaufort County Penny Sales Tax Commission – chairman; Elected to two terms on Beaufort City Council – 2006-2010, 2010-2014
Family: Married with one child
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected mayor? The key challenge to the city: Impacts of regional growth on our small city. I believe that council must work with regional leadership to develop alternative shared funding streams that will allow the city to continue to provide a level of service our citizens demand. LOST, or Local Option Sales tax, is an example of a shared fund that could be used to offset the shared cost of maintaining our parks and public spaces. As a larger community we must follow smart growth principles in future development ensuring that growth is centered where service is already delivered allowing for greater protection of our rural landscape. Our council and its mayor must work to ensure the city maintains its sense of place keeping Beaufort, Beaufort!
BEAUFORT CITY COUNCIL
Two seats are open on city council with four-year terms and are non-partisan city-wide (no districts).
Scott Allen Gibbs
Civic/Political Experience: Elections Poll Manager
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? The growing challenge of flooding and storm water in the city. However, this challenge is not unique to Beaufort. I will engage the American Flood Coalition where elected officials collaborate to seek and implement best practices. Through outreach, I will educate our citizens about the need to not use storm water ditches for yard waste, etc. A longer term solution is the use of walls and ponds to divert water (which) will eventually be necessary and in the short term, there will hopefully be some federal financial support. Beaufort, however is catching up with restoring storm water systems through the storm water fees to repair areas in Mossy Oaks as well as working to begin on two more when Mossy Oaks is completed.
Occupation: Worked 35 years in husband’s construction company. Created plans for the company’s customers. Semi-retired with couple’s new remodeling company.
Civic/Political Experience: Worked with Family Promise of Salem County, New Jersey. Started the program for her church and worked with 12 other churches before moving to Beaufort.
Family: Married with four children, 10 grandchildren
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? Affordable housing for our middle income households is a great need. They are the households that earn $35,000 to $60,000 annually. Some are teachers, nurses, firefighters, police force, EMTs and veterans. Currently Beaufort is below the national level in affordable housing. We can supplement housing in the city and do so without causing damage to our National Historic Landmark District.
Occupation: Retired, owner of Lipsitz Shoes on Bay Street
Civic/Political Experience: Served on the Beaufort County Tax Equalization Board; currently serving 5+ years on the South Carolina Board of Nursing
Family: Married with one adult child
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected mayor? Hold the line on taxes. No unnecessary spending. Playground plans for Southside Park. Expand affordable housing. We as a council need to encourage private investors along with seeking state and federal grants.
Occupation: Real Estate Broker
Civic/Political Experience: Palmetto Chapter American Red Cross – past chair; SC Field Service Consortium-ARC; Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce – past president, Beaufort Jasper County Association of Realtors – past president; United Way of the Lowcountry Investment Panel; Served on City Tourism Management Advisory Commission (TMAC) and the Waterways Commission; currently a trustee for Carteret Street Methodist Church, and Alzheimers Family Services of Greater Beaufort – vice Chair; served on City Council since 2008 and Mayor Pro-Tem for the last six years.
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? The challenge on council will be to continue to diversify our economic base, encourage employment opportunities and higher wage employment and engage with our regional partners for more and better affordable and workforce housing. Continue to support infill redevelopment within the city with the goal of heightened economic sustainability, and still maintain the authentic charm that we all want for our hometown.
Occupation: Retired General Officer and Retired Airline Captain
Civic/Political Experience: County Planning Commission; Beaufort History Museum – board member; Penn Center – board member; S.C. Voters – Poll Manager
Family: Married with three adult children, five grandchildren
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? The work being done to address flooding resulting from sea level rise and its impact on areas such as Mossy Oaks must continue. This work must be extended to other areas similarly threatened. We must do all we can to keep MCRD Paris Island training here in Beaufort — where it has always been and where it belongs. The devastation to our economy that would result from the loss of Paris Island is one that we can’t leave to chance. We must bring environmentally safe jobs to Beaufort. This will do much to solve the affordable housing concerns facing our city.
Occupation: Middle School Assistant Principal
Civic/Political Experience: Served the community as a volunteer firefighter and rescue diver; Active in local church, serves as deacon, young married class leader; Served on the board of directors for S.C. SkillsUSA, a co-curricular organization supporting technical and skilled trades.
Family: Married with three children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the city right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? The key challenge is growing Beaufort in a way that represents all community interests. This starts with having a balanced representation of different communities and perspectives sitting on council where the decisions are made. This will also require changing policies, especially with respect to real property, to incentivize both new investment and restoration of existing structures. We need to be hospitable to industries that will offer jobs for those who move here or stay here, while also preserving our character. We also need to be strong advocates for our local military bases to ensure a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
BEAUFORT COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
Four seats are open on the Beaufort County Board of Education.
Earl Campbell (incumbent)
Note: Mr. Campbell did not respond to our request for information.
Jevona Armstrong (challenger)
Occupation: Long-term substitute teacher for Beaufort County School District
Civic/Political Experience: Beaufort-Jasper Head Start Policy Council – member; Bridges Preparatory charter school – founding member
Family: Married with three children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the school board right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? Our school board faces many transparency challenges that impacts the level of trust and engagement from the local public. I believe executive session board meetings are one of those challenges, and it is imperative that the board utilizes executive session meetings effectively, efficiently and ethically. If elected, I will ensure closed meetings are utilized effectively, promoting trust and transparency within our local community while working toward our goals for student and district achievement.
District 6 is currently represented by John Dowling, but Dowling announced last year he would not run again.
Angela D Middleton
Education: B.A. in Political Science, University of South Carolina; M.A. in Business, Webster University; MEd in Secondary Administration, The Citadel; Juris Doctor, Atlanta’s John Marshall Savanna Law School
Occupation: Disaster Recovery Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance
Civic/Political Experience: Mrs. Okatie Plus America (local), Mrs. South Carolina Plus America (state), Mrs. Plus America (national) pageant titles, 2018-2019; Founder of the community outreach program, “Teach one reach a million! Educating the community to end human trafficking” and volunteer with Fresh Start Healing Heart, a non-profit organization in South Carolina which assist survivors of human trafficking
Family: Married with four children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the school board right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? The challenges facing the school board at this moment are developing policies and procedures to educate students during the pandemic and making sure the resources and infrastructures are available to provide quality education for all students in Beaufort county.
Christina Gwozdz (incumbent)
Civic/Political Experience: Beaufort County Board of Education – Current Chair and District 9 member; S.C. Society of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery – past President, President Elect and Vice President; Member of S.C. Medical Association House of Delegates
Family: Married with three adult children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the school board right now, and how do you plan to address those if re-elected? The key challenge always facing the school board is to improve public education (student achievement) by fulfilling our fiduciary duty to steer the school district towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical and legal governance and financial management policies, while ensuring adequate resources are available to advance the district’s mission. This is especially difficult with the pandemic, as two learning environments are needed (virtual and face-to-face) and a temporary budget is in place. Less revenue is anticipated. I will continue to represent all stakeholders in District 9 and be fiscally responsible while making student achievement the priority.
Jennifer Morrow (challenger)
Occupation: Deployment Readiness Coordinator (Department of Defense)
Civic/Political Experience: Hilton Head Regional Habitat For Humanity – board member, 2019-Present; Town of Bluffton Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Committee – member
Family: Married with two children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the school board right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? Key challenges facing the school board are ensuring all students receive the best possible education during the pandemic. I’ll work with fellow board members to ensure we exhaust all possible resources so that no child’s education is limited and/or minimally impacted due to Covid. I want to improve trust and communication with the community. I want the school district and board to work on methods to recruit/retain qualified teachers via salary increases and affordable housing near our schools. New board members with fresh ideas can provide a voice for parents.
District 11 is currently represented by JoAnn Orischak, who said she would not seek re-election.
Occupation: Student, volunteer
Civic/Political Experience: Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head – board member; youth basketball coach for 11 years; former president of Seahawk Theatre Guild and Hilton Head Crew Team
Family: Married with three children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the school board right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? We need to repair and strengthen the relationship between the schools and our community. This will involve the board continuing to rebuild trust through communication and transparency, engaging the community in the work of the schools and inspiring community investment in education.
BEAUFORT COUNTY COUNCIL
(Includes Buckwalter area of Bluffton)
Logan Cunningham (R)
Education: Hilton Head Christian Academy; B.A. in Elementary Education from USC Beaufort.
Occupation: Former Beaufort County School District educator; currently Food and Beverage Manager for Station 300
Civic/Political Experience: Greater Bluffton Republican Club – vice president; Beaufort County Young Professionals – board member; USC Beaufort Education Club – vice president; Nancy Mace For Congress Campaign team; Beaufort County Young Professionals – board member; supported the School Referendum November 2019; Kevin Phillips Port Royal Town Council Campaign team; multiple local and global outreach programs
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the county right now and what would you do to address that challenge? Beaufort County faces many challenges. A few challenges I will be focusing on, in District 7, are transparency and responsible growth. Beaufort County is growing rapidly, which can be seen as a burden or an opportunity. District 7 is in a unique situation that gets the chance to build our community the way we want for future generations. As your councilman, I will make sure the constituents are up to date on the projects, roads and changes coming to our community. I will also be the advocate on the front lines to make sure our Lowcountry values are protected.
Jodie Srutek (D)
Occupation: Professional Travel Advisor
Civic/Political Experience: Volunteer public school advocate and co-founder of STAND for Students
Family: Two children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the county right now and what would you do to address that challenge? Managing the effects of COVID-19 and its impacts on our economy, tax revenue, and tourism industry will be a top issue. That being said, we cannot be singularly focused. We must also implement smart growth strategies to include attainable housing, balancing the preservation of natural resources with economic development and keeping pace with our infrastructure needs.
(Includes Sheldon, Dale, Lobeco, Burton)
Gerald Dawson (D)
Education: Beaufort County schools
Occupation: Has worked as a paramedic with Beaufort County EMS; Retired U.S. Postal Service letter carrier; Associate minister of Mount Carmel Baptist Church of Dale
Civic/Political Experience: James J. Davis Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization – past president; Parris Island Ministries Campus Crusade for Christ – instructor; Governor’s Comprehensive Strategies for Prevention (G-CAP) – member; County Council – member since 2005
Note: Mr. Dawson, running unopposed, did not respond to our requests for information.
(Includes Beaufort, Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island, Parris Island)
York L. Glover, Sr. (D)
Education: St. Helena High School; B.S. in Business Administration from North Carolina A&T State University; M.A. in education from Clemson University.
Occupation: Retired after 35 years from Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service; Deacon and clerk at Bethesda Christian Fellowship
Civic/Political Experience: Beaufort County First Steps Partnership Board – member; Beaufort/Jasper/Hampton Comprehensive Health Inc. – board member; Carolina Hospice; board member; County Council – member since 2017.
Family: Married with four children.
Note: Mr. Glover, running unopposed, did not respond to our requests for information.
(Includes Okatie, Burton, Shell Point)
Brian E. Flewelling (R)
Education: U.S. Marine Corps, 10 years; U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2 years
Occupation: Self-employed, Advantage Title Abstracting Company
Civic/Political Experience: Serves with Child Abuse Prevention Association – Open Arms Shelter and foster parent; The Lions Club – member; Exchange Club of Beaufort – member; St. Peter’s Catholic Church – member; City of Beaufort Zoning Board of Appeals – former member, chairman; Beaufort County Planning Commission – former member, vice chairman; County Council – member since 2009
Family: Married with one child
Note: Mr. Flewelling, running unopposed, did not respond to our requests for information.
BEAUFORT COUNTY CORONER
Running unopposed, David Ott will be the first new coroner in 12 years if elected. Coroner Ed Allen announced his retirement earlier
David W. Ott (R)
Education: Battery Creek High School
Occupation: Beaufort County Chief Deputy Coroner
Civic/Political Experience: Served with the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office for nearly 12 years; also served in law enforcement for 29 years, retiring in 2009 from the Beaufort Police Department.
Family: Married with two children, three grandchildren
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the Coroner’s Office right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? Beaufort County is just (smaller than) 1,000 square miles. It would take someone nearly an hour and a half to drive from Fripp Island to Hilton Head Island and we cover it all from our office in Port Royal. I think that one of the biggest challenges that we face is our response time. Therefore, I plan to increase coverage south of the Broad River, at minimum during the workweek, which allows us to arrive on scenes in less time. This benefits the decedent and their families, and in some cases, the public by helping to clear traffic accidents efficiently. I also plan to pursue national accreditation for our office.
Others on the ballot in Beaufort County
The following are also running unopposed in Beaufort County:
Duffie Stone (R)
Clerk of Court
Jerri Roseneau (R)
Soil and Water District Commission
Denise M Parsick
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 1
Joe Cunningham (D-incumbent)
Education: B.A. Florida Atlantic University, J.D. Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Occupation: Member of Congress, former attorney
Civic/Political Experience: U.S. Congress (SC-01), serves on House Veteran Affairs Committee
Family: Married with one child
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the District right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? Right now we need to focus on getting this pandemic under control and giving families and businesses the support they need in order to stay afloat. I was proud to introduce a bipartisan framework for COVID-19 relief legislation with my colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus and have been working to bring both parties back to the table and agree on a package that provides immediate relief for families, small businesses, out of work Americans, and state and local governments.
Nancy Mace (R-challenger)
Occupation: Commercial Realtor
Civic/Political Experience: S.C. State House Representative District 99 (2018-Present)
Family: Two children
What is the key challenge or challenges in the District right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? We must address permanently banning offshore drilling, not only here in SC-01 but up and down the east coast. While the President’s 10-year moratorium is a step in the right direction, we need to move further. I have worked hard to end offshore drilling during my time in the State House earning a 100 percent lifetime rating from the Conservation Voters of South Carolina and I do not intend to stop now. In Congress, I will work across the aisle to make sure a permanent ban is instituted to save our shoreline.
Education: B.A. from University of South Carolina; J.D. from University of South Carolina Law School, 1981
Occupation: United States Senator
Civic/Political Experience: U.S. House of Representatives, 1995-2003; U.S. Senator from S.C., 2003 – present
Education: B.A. from Yale University; J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center
Occupation: Former Lobbyist; former Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party
Civic/Political Experience: Former Aid to U.S. Representative James Clyburn; former Executive Director of the House Democratic Caucus; former Vice Chair of the S.C. Democratic Party
Family: Married with two children
S.C. HOUSE AND SENATE RACES
Senate District 43
Chip Campsen (R-incumbent)
Education: H Wando High School; B.S. Biology, Magna Cum Laude, Furman University; J.D. from University of South Carolina; MBA from University of South Carolina.
Occupation: Attorney, businessman
Civic/Political Experience: South Carolina House of Representatives (1997-2002); Co-chairman of Governor Mark Sanford’s Transition Team (2002-03); Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Mark Sanford (2003); South Carolina Senate (2004-present); Charleston Southern University Board of Visitors – member; MUSC President’s Advisory Council; SC Baptist Convention Committee on Constitution, By-Laws and Business and Financial Plan; Justice Fellowship Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform; Boy Scouts Coastal Carolina Council Board of Directors – member; Deacon and Church Council, East Cooper Baptist Church; Competition Judge for the Eastern Surfing Association; and Vice Chairman of the South Carolina Wildlife Partnership.
Family: Married with two children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing your district right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected (or re-elected)? This election is about stewardship. Stewardship of our coast, culture, history, natural resources and quality of life. No one in South Carolina has done more to protect these resources. Hundreds of thousands of acres are protected in perpetuity by laws I authored. Laws protecting our beaches, natural resources, history, wildlife and way of life have my fingerprints all over them. The Lowcountry is under tremendous development pressure. (More than) 20 years ago, I determined to protect our coast so ensuing generations could experience a semblance of the adventures I’ve enjoyed over a lifetime of exploring South Carolina’s magnificent coast.
Richard Hricik (D-challenger)
Civic/Political Experience: East Cooper Montessori – volunteer, board member, chair and counsel; Wando High School School Improvement Council; Louie’s Kids – board member (child obesity); IOP United Methodist Church – former trustee
Family: Married with two children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing your district right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected (or re-elected)? I am not a politician, I am not taking PAC money and have pledged a term limit. I’m a self-made family man and first in my family to graduate college. My opponent is a 22-year career-politician. His outdated ideas and views have failed the Lowcountry and S.C. children for decades. We must improve our schools with universal pre-K, fully funded schools and by paying teachers fairly. Your children cannot compete in the economy of the future from a broken education system of the past. Quality public schools will create more opportunity and a better future for Lowcountry families.
Senate District 45
Margie Bright Matthews (D-incumbent)
Education: B.S. University of South Carolina; J.D.University of South Carolina School of Law
Civic/Political Experience: Colleton County Bar Association – President; American Association for Justice – delegate; State Senator since 2015
Family: Married with four children
Note: Ms. Matthews did not respond to our request for information
Rodney Buncum (R-challenger)
Education: St. John’s High School; Studied at USC Aiken; A.A. degree from Trident Technical College; B.S. degree from Full Sail University
Occupation: Pastor at Patience Everlasting Church
Note: Mr. Buncum did not respond to our request for information
Senate District 46
Tom Davis (R-incumbent)
Education: B.A.from Furman University, 1982, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa; J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law, 1985, graduating with highest honors, Order of the Coif, Simon E. Sobeloff Prize for outstanding constitutional law scholarship
Civic/Political Experience: Former board member of Historic Beaufort Foundation; Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority; Beaufort County Planning Board; Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce; and South Carolina State Ports Authority; Graduate of Leadership South Carolina and the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative; Senior Policy Advisor and Chief of Staff for former Gov. Mark Sanford; S.C. State Senator
Family: Three children
What is the key challenge (or challenges) facing our district, and how do you plan to address it/them if re-elected? Making sure the people in my district are treated fairly in the state budget. When I first was elected, they weren’t. Now they are. Three examples: 1) Of the $360 million available this year for spending on roads statewide, $176 million will go to Beaufort and Jasper counties; 2) Millions of K-12 dollars that should have gone to Beaufort County once were directed elsewhere through budget provisos; I eliminated those provisos and our county’s K-12 funding has increased by 45 percent; 3) Per-pupil funding for USC Beaufort was once only 37 percent of the state average; next year it will be 100 percent.
Nathan Campbell (D-challenger)
Education: B.A. and M.A. in Political Science, Marshall University
Occupation: Government teacher at May River High School
Civic/Political Experience: Worked in the West Virginia State Senate for both political parties and for current U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
What is the key challenge (or challenges) facing our district, and how do you plan to address it/them if elected? Our district and our delegation needs to lead in Columbia on issues dealing with education, economy, environment and equality. The current delegation doesn’t lead because they are too concerned about their political party and not the people of the Lowcountry. If we vote in new leadership that isn’t beholden to a party and is more responsive to the people, we won’t have to listen to the lies career politicians make right before an election to seem like they did something. I plan on attacking these issues and making our district proud.
House District 124
Shannon S. Erickson (R-incumbent)
Education: B.A. from the University of South Carolina Beaufort
Occupation: Educator/Business Owner
Civic/Political Experience: S.C. House, 2007 – present; House Ways & Means, Chairwoman of the Transportation & Regulatory Budget Subcommittee; Served on the Governor’s Early Childhood Care & Education Committee; The United Way – various local boards and committees; The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce; Beaufort County First Steps Board; Lady’s Island Elementary, Lady’s Island Middle & Beaufort Academy PTOs.
Family: Married with two adult children, two grandchildren
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the district right now, and how do you plan to address those if re-elected? A return to stability is the most important issue. People see the news and worry about what’s going to happen here, to their families and their community, and want to keep the current situation from growing worse. Most folks understand that things cannot turn around too quickly, but they want to see us moving forward in a proactive manner while keeping the state’s fiscal picture balanced and setting responsible priorities. They also want to see how we will learn from this, be more informed and better prepared. During the past few months, I’ve worked on the committee that planned the allocation of CARES ACT funds. We presented the House plan to support needs like small and minority business grants (for those not receiving PPP), S.C. Unemployment Insurance Fund (to keep businesses from experiencing higher rates), funding for COVID-related mental health services and COVID testing and expanded medical services.
Barb Nash (D-challenger)
Education: M.S. in Nursing, Ohio State University; B.S. in Nursing, Ohio University; RN Diploma – The Christ Hospital School of Nursing
Occupation: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Adjunct Faculty, Nursing Department, USC Beaufort
Civic/Political Experience: Northwest Quadrant Neighborhood Association – president; 100 Women Who Care, Beaufort – member; Alpha Alpha Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing – founding board member; Ohio Nurses Association – past president; Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurse – member; Full Practice Authority Committee – past member; Ohio College Health Association – past member, past board member; American College Health Association – member; American Nurses Association – member; Ohio Nurses Association – president
Family: Married with two adult children, three grandchildren
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the district right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? South Carolina needs a fully funded, robust, public education system for our children and increased access to healthcare at lower costs. We need to offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain qualified teachers, and address our crumbling educational infrastructure, along with increasing access to broadband across the state. We must expand Medicaid and remove barriers, and offer incentives, to nurse practitioners to bring primary care to people in grossly underserved areas. We should be appalled at our child poverty rate and our maternal/child mortality rate, both of which are problems that can be solved. Beaufort County ranks as the No. 1 county in the United States when it comes to the impact of climate change. We must boldly address rising sea water, our reliance on fossil fuels and the polluting of our waters. We must move further, and much faster, to create a state where the education of our children, the health of our people, and the protection of our land and water are our highest priorities.
House Race 121
Michael F. Rivers (D-incumbent)
Education: B.S. in Business Administration/Organizational Management from Claflin University; CAD/ Drafting, TCL; Electronics, DeVry Institute of Technology
Occupation: Retired USAF; Minister
Civic/Political Experience: Served on Beaufort County School Board, 1998-2016, Beaufort County Poll Manager, NAACP, Beaufort County Ministerial Alliance
Family: Married with seven children
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the district right now, and how do you plan to address those if re-elected? Currently, health care, education, social and economic justice as well as fiscal responsibility. Covid-19 has revealed the need to expand access to health care. We must also provide equitable, quality public education for all South Carolina children pre-K through Grade 12. Address maintaining the roads and infrastructure including better Broadband access. Fiscal responsibility is necessary to provide the services our constituents need. We must always remember who we work for; the people in District 121.
Eric Erickson (R-challenger)
Civic/Political Experience: Town Port Royal Design Review Board; Town Port Royal Historic Preservation Board; St. Johns Lutheran Church – President; Pro Bono Prosecutor for S.C. Attorney General in criminal domestic violence cases; Special Olympics coach; Week of Champions coach; Haiti mission work; Army medic and physician assistant, four years at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, ER.
What is the key challenge or challenges facing the district right now, and how do you plan to address those if elected? 1) COVID-19. We need more federal government money to help businesses and employees, 2) Education. We need to use more of the S.C. Education Lottery money for K-12 instead of giving 90 percent of it to higher education and 3) Social justice and law and order. A fourth generation law and order candidate: Great grandfather Chicago Judge Alfred Erickson, Grandfather Sheriff Melvin Erickson and House of Rep., Father WWII officer Dr. Mayo Erickson.
Other House Districts in Beaufort County
House District 118
Rep. William G. “Bill” Herbkersman
House District 120
Rep. Wm. Weston J. Newton
House District 122
Rep. Shedron D. Williams
House District 123
Rep. Jeffrey A. “Jeff” Bradley
– Compiled by Margaret Evans, Lolita Huckaby, Mindy Lucas and Mike McCombs