Crowded education superintendent race highlights SC ballot

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are the marquee races in South Carolina’s primaries upcoming week, but several candidates are also competing for seats in Congress and for the statewide roles of schooling superintendent, legal professional general and agriculture commissioner.

U.S. Residence

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice faces a 50 percent-dozen Republican challengers as he seeks the nomination for his sixth expression. The race in the 7th District, which is anchored by Florence and Myrtle Beach, turned crowded immediately after Rice was 1 10 Household Republicans to assistance the next impeachment hard work in opposition to then-President Donald Trump.

Rice’s best opponent, state Rep. Russell Fry, has been endorsed by Trump. Democratic candidate and Military veteran Daryl Scott has no challengers in the principal.

Another incumbent struggling with a fierce battle is Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, whose 1st District runs from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Mace is facing Katie Arrington, who won the Republican nomination in 2018 but dropped in the general election to a person-expression Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham. Mace defeated Cunningham in 2020. Dr. Annie Andrews is the only Democrat operating this year.

In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Rep. William Timmons is going through three challengers. Timmons is amongst the Republican congressmen who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election benefits for Joe Biden and he has acquired an endorsement from Trump. But his opponents contend he is not conservative adequate.

Trump selected Timmons around Mark Burns, a pastor who expended two many years going to rallies to speak on Trump’s behalf. The other two candidates competing against Timmons are George Abuzeid, a previous adviser to the congressman, and retired businessman Michael LaPierre.

The lone Democrat in the race is Ken Hill, a nuclear ability plant top quality regulate inspector for the congressional district, which is anchored by Greenville and Spartanburg.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democrat in Congress, is going through two challengers as he seeks a 16th term in the 6th District, the state’s only the greater part minority district, which extends from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden is extensively observed as the defining component that led to the current president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic main, faces chiropractor and insurance plan adjuster Michael Addison and constitution faculty trainer Gregg Marcel Dixon.

On the Republican side, attorney Duke Buckner and marketing consultant A. Sonia Morris are in search of the nomination.

In the 5th District, which runs from Rock Hill to Sumter, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has no challengers in the key. In November, he’ll encounter just one of two Democrats at present vying for their party’s nomination: Kevin Eckert, a group organizer and technician, and builder and real estate agent Evangeline Hundley. Norman has been in Congress due to the fact 2017.

In the 2nd District, which incorporates the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has no primary opposition for the seat he has represented considering that 2001. His Democratic opponent in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his campaign web page as a “husband, a pet dad, a organization owner, a higher education football enthusiast and a South Carolina native.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan is unopposed in the main and normal election as he seeks a seventh term in the 3rd District, which covers the northwest aspect of South Carolina.

In addition to the congressional races, Republican incumbents in 3 statewide places of work face primary worries: the legal professional common, secretary of condition and agriculture commissioner.

Legal professional Basic

Legal professional Normal Alan Wilson is trying to get a fourth term. He is challenged by lawyer Lauren Martel, who mentioned Wilson does additional talking than battling for conservative positions these as defending Accomplice monuments or battling COVID-19 vaccine mandates. No Democrats have entered the race.

SECRETARY OF Condition

Secretary of Point out Mark Hammond is being challenged in the Republican main by Keith Blanford, who desires to consider the part of overseeing elections absent from a board appointed by the governor and give it to the Secretary of State’s Office.

A monthly bill that would make that transition was proposed in the Standard Assembly this year but by no means bought a listening to. The Republican-dominated Legislature did overhaul election laws to let early voting.

The winner of the Republican primary will deal with Democrat Rosemounda Peggy Butler in the fall.

AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER

Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers has two opponents for the Republican nomination: Spartanburg County Soil and H2o Commissioner Invoice Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who functions in the farming industry.

The winner will experience David Edmond of the Environmentally friendly Party and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Bash. If Bledsoe loses the Republican key, he will run in the standard election below the Constitutional Occasion. This is the past 12 months that condition legislation allows candidates to operate for a lot more than one social gathering.

Education and learning SUPERINTENDENT

Each functions have crowded fields following Republican Education and learning Superintendent Molly Spearman determined not to run again right after eight years in the job.

Spearman occasionally disagreed with other Republican leaders, specifically on troubles this kind of as regardless of whether neighborhood districts really should be equipped to mandate masks to protect from COVID-19. That schism has ongoing into the Republican major.

Spearman endorsed Kathy Maness, who is executive director of the Palmetto Condition Instructors Affiliation. Spearman states Maness has been a trainer and appreciates each the legislative system and how educational institutions run.

Lots of other Republican leaders have endorsed Ellen Weaver, the CEO of conservative imagine tank Palmetto Guarantee Institute and chairwoman of the state Schooling Oversight Committee. She also has the backing of prior condition schooling superintendents Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has raised far more than $325,000, an volume not matched by any other candidate. Travis Bedson, who owns a foundation mend company, has elevated about $280,000, with most of that funds coming from a $250,000 financial loan he made to his campaign, according to campaign finance experiences. Bedson suggests South Carolina public schools will need a enterprise state of mind to operate far better.

Maness has raised about $115,000.

Weaver and Bedson facial area yet another hurdle: Neither of them has the master’s diploma that South Carolina regulation now requires of a superintendent. Maness does. The two Weaver and Bedson say they are performing on the superior degree, but election officials said there is no precedent for what takes place if one particular of one particular of them wins in November without having it.

Other Republicans jogging are Florence University District 1 Board Member Bryan Chapman, Greenville County University Board member Lynda Leventis-Wells and Lexington elementary faculty trainer Kizzi Gibson.

Competing for the Democratic nomination are condition Rep. Jerry Govan, former Anderson County Faculty District 4 Superintendent Gary Burgess and Lisa Ellis, founder of the trainer advocate group SC for Ed.

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Stick to Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.