Jarvis Klapman has a Republican opponent. Floyd Spence has a free ride. Jim Solomon has an itch to get back into local politics.
They were among nearly 100 candidates from Richland and Lexington counties to sign up this week to run for local, state and federal office. The filing deadline was noon Thursday.
It won’t be long before you’ll be seeing their names on bumper stickers and yard signs. Some might come right up to your front door or wave at you from a convertible in a Main Street parade.
The clock has started ticking. The primary is Aug. 25. The general election is Nov. 3.
It’s hardly surprising that Spence, the 2nd District congressman from Lexington, has a free ride after 22 years in office. The 64-year-old Republican hasn’t faced a serious challenger since 1988, the same year he received new lungs in a life-saving operation. His 1990 opponent was a Libertarian.
The 2nd District is even more Republican now, after reapportionment. The district stretches all the way to the coast to include the upwardly mobile folks at Hilton Head Island.
Klapman’s opposition is surprising.
The 76-year-old Cayce resident is third in House seniority and is its longest-serving Republican. He sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and even has a major road named after him. He said he has never had a Republican opponent.
But Margaret Gamble said she intends to beat Klapman in the GOP primary. Gamble, 39, is an administrator and teacher at the University of South Carolina. She also works part time for a study committee chaired by Rep. Olin Phillips, D-Cherokee, and spent many days this year in the House chamber.
“Rep. Klapman is not the easiest person to get along with,” Gamble said. “He’s known for objecting to other people’s legislation.”
Klapman said the challenge doesn’t bother him. “I run the same way whether I have opposition or don’t have opposition.”
Klapman is one of only seven state legislators from the two counties to have opposition. Fourteen will win re-election without a primary or general election contest.
However, the area’s five open State House seats have attracted a wealth of candidates. A newly created district straddling Lexington and Orangeburg counties is being sought by six people.
The fiercest competition will be for county offices, where most of the incumbents have opposition.
One of the new faces gunning for the Richland County Council is also one of the most familiar.
Jim Solomon was on council in 1983 before leaving to run the state Department of Social Services. He gave up that post this year, and is one of four candidates running for an open seat created by reapportionment.
Three of the six council incumbents have primary opponents, including Chairman John Monroe. If Monroe defeats Sharon Jackson in the Republican primary, he would still have to face Manly J. Emanuel, an independent, in the general election.
Emanuel is one of two independents trying to get on council, which is bitterly divided along party lines. The other, Bob Templin, is one of three candidates trying to unseat Republican Irene LaBorde Neuffer.
Republicans hold a 6-5 majority on the council. A reapportionment lawsuit has held up filing for two seats. The outcome of the case will determine whether Republican Leone Castles can run for re-election, or has to give up her seat to Democrat Nancy Sandel.
Richland Sheriff Allen Sloan will have to beat two challengers to win a second term. Bill Whitworth will face him in the Republican primary, and the winner will take on Democrat Mickey Matney.
On the Lexington County Council, Republican Alvin Neal is the only incumbent running unopposed. Four other incumbents have primary or general- election opposition, but most of their opponents are political newcomers.
Two exceptions: South Congaree resident Andy Gramble will try to defeat incumbent Robert Sox in the Republican primary. Democrat Tommy Glenn, running against Republican incumbent Harvey Wise, is a former council member.
Lexington County Sheriff James Metts is unopposed.
Here’s a list of candidates who have filed for offices in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties. State party officials did not have completed lists Friday. Primary elections are Aug. 25.
County Council: District 2: incumbent George Mick, Republican. District 3: incumbent Harriet Fields, Democrat. District 7: Dewey Duckett Jr., Democrat; Gwendolyn Davis Kennedy, Democrat; Joseph McEachern, Democrat; James Solomon Jr., Democrat. District 8: incumbent Irene LaBorde Neuffer, Republican; Stephen F. Morris, Republican; Johnathan Harvey, Democrat; Robert L. “Bob” Templin, independent. District 9: incumbent John Monroe, Republican; Sharon Jackson, Republican; Manly J. Emanuel, independent. District 10: incumbent Bernice Scott, Democrat; Mary J. Tucker, Democrat.
Sheriff: incumbent Allen Sloan, Republican; Bill Whitworth, Republican; Mickey Matney, Democrat.
Clerk of Court: incumbent Barbara Scott, Democrat.
Coroner: incumbent Frank Barron, Republican; Henriette Hall Merry, Republican; Alvin Portee, Democrat.
County Council: District 1 — incumbent Harvey Wise, Republican; Bruck Rucker, Republican; Tommy Glenn, Democrat. District 3: incumbent Jerry Howard, Republican; Tommy Reynolds, Republican; Leonard Sox, Republican. District 4: incumbent Paul Peters, Republican; Jacob Wilkerson, Republican; Nell Poole, Democrat. District 5: incumbent Robert Sox, Republican; Andy Gramble, Republican. District 6: incumbent Alvin Neal, Republican.
Sheriff: incumbent James Metts, Republican.
Clerk of Court: incumbent John “Spanky” Bearden, Republican; Tom Comerford, Republican.
Coroner: incumbent Harry Harman, Republican.
Auditor: incumbent Claudia Lee Hendrix, Republican; Bob Caughman, Republican; Sara Caldwell, Republican.
Treasurer: incumbent Margaret Sharpe, Democrat; Bill Rowl, Republican.
Solicitor: incumbent Donnie Myers, Republican.
Register of Mesne Conveyance: incumbent JoAnne Tribble, Republican; Beryl Roberts, Republican.
County Council: Alvin McNaughton, Democrat; Cheryl Howle, independent; incumbent Jim McGuirt, Republican; incumbent A.T. “Hammy” Moak, Republican; Jim Owens, Republican; Mike Prater, Republican.
Clerk of Court: Jane Clyburn, Democrat; Randy Sharp, Democrat; Pam Corbett, Republican; Joyce McDonald, Republican; Donna Lawhon Trapp, Republican.