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Ford Loses Primary Bid In Vain Effort To Unseat Kimpson
6/15/2016 3:13:53 PM

Marlon Kimpson
By Barney Blakeney

Tuesday’s S.C. State primary elections yielded few local surprises, but perhaps affirmed some bitter realities despite a voter turnout of less than 10 percent of the county’s more than 269,000 registered voters.

Several contests promised to be noteworthy. Most prominent was the Senate Dist. 42 contest between Democratic contenders incumbent Marlon Kimpson and former Dist. 42 Sen. Robert Ford who relinquished the seat in 2013 amid allegations of ethics violations.

And in S.C. House Dist. 116, incumbent Rep. Robert Brown was challenged by Charleston County School Board member Rev. Eric Mack for the Democratic nomination. At the local level former Charleston County School Board chair Ruth Jordan sought the Democratic nomination. Jordan won the election and if she’s successful in the November general election, she’ll join Anna Johnson as the second black woman serving on the council and will become the third black woman ever to serve on the council.

The contest between Ford and Kimpson drew a lot of attention among black voters as Ford tried to recapture the seat he vacated. The 20-year legislator tried in a vain effort to unseat his successor as most observers criticized the attempt. The colorful and controversial Ford left office in lackluster fashion as many of his constituents criticized his political positions. Kimpson trounced Ford in the primary winning about 80 percent of the vote. In handing him a big victory, Kimpson said the people have spoken.

“They said they want me to continue my progressive and substantive work. I’ve just started in the general assembly. The best is yet to come,” said Kimpson who after the 2016 session is completing his third year in office. Lacking Republican opposition in the general election, Kimpson is poised to retain the seat. “I’ll have four years to work on my priority issues that include increasing the minimum wage, providing affordable housing, gun reform and economic procurement in historically disadvantaged communities.”

Brown who easily dispatched Mack winning about 70 percent of the vote, will face a previous challenger in Republican Carroll O’Neal come November. Many observers inquisitively wondered why Mack, who only a year ago won the seat he holds on Charleston County School Board, now would challenge Brown for the House District 116 seat. On the Republican side, Charles Glover also sought to represent the district. Glover lost the bid after winning only about 30 percent of the votes cast.

Jordan beat Bell with more than 65 percent of the vote in the Charleston County Council District 7 race. And though she faces Republican Brantley Moody in the November General election, observers are saying Jordan likely will ride a Democratic tidal wave into office as part of the Democratic Party ticket. She said her Tuesday election is only the first step in a 1,000 mile journey. Beyond her party affiliation, Jordan says she stands on her four-year record of service on Charleston County School Board. “My reputation precedes me,” she said.

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