Voters to visit polls Tuesday
North Augustans will join voters throughout the nation on Tuesday to select representatives who will be charged with carrying out their wishes in the White House, the U.S. Congress, the S.C. Legislature and in numerous local capacities. This year's election is somewhat unusual in that there is at least one race that has no challengers' names on the ballot.
The position of Aiken County treasurer will be selected by write-in ballots only, since all potential party candidates were disqualified on the basis of irregularities in filing a Statement of Economic Intent at the required time of filing.
The 9 candidates for treasurer will depend on voters remembering their names and writing them in the blank on the ballot.
They are John Cagle, Debra Folk, Jason Goings, Angela Gunter, Melissa Oremus, Frances Pennington, Robin Saylor, Ed Smith and Sonya Spray.
In North Augusta, most races are uncontested - Chuck Smith is unopposed for his seat on Aiken County Council. Likewise, Keith Liner has no opposition for his position on Aiken County Board of Education, and Bill Hixon is running unopposed for his seat as the S.C. House District 83 representative. Most of North Augusta is in the S.C. Senate District 24, which is being sought by Tom Young, who also has no opposition.
In countywide races, Sheriff Michael Hunt has write-in opposition. Jim Vause is seeking to unseat the nine-year veteran. At the same time, the position of Aiken County Auditor has only one candidate on the ballot, Charles Barton, but Daniel Turno has declared himself a write-in candidate for the position. Unopposed are Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young and Registrar of Mesne Conveyance Judith Warner.
The Aiken County Probate Judge Sue Roe is opposed by political newcomer Jane Page Thompson.
Aiken County ?Council District 4
Chuck Smith is running unopposed for the District 4 seat. Incumbent Smith has been a member of Aiken County Council for two decades.
Smith works as an Edward Jones investment representative in North Augusta. He has been with Edward Jones since 1992.
He is also the chief operating officer of Paula F. Price Enterprise LLC., a staff augmentation firm for the Savannah River Site. He is also a board member of the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization.
Aiken County ?Council Chairman
Ronnie Young has served as chairman of Aiken County Council since 1994 when he was elected to the post in a special election following the untimely death of long-serving chairman Carrol H. Warner.
Young was first elected to County Council in 1989, and, prior to that, he served on the School Board from 1988 to 1989. He also served as chairman of Valley Public Service Authority.
Young is a native of Aiken County and has lived here all of his life.
He worked for Avondale Mills for 28 years then with URS for three years before his retirement.
Registrar of Mesne Conveyance
Judith Warner is serving her forth term as the Registrar of Mesne Conveyance for Aiken County. As with the three previous elections, she has no opposition in the upcoming general election.
Warner is a graduate of Edgefield High School and a former resident of the Wagener area. She operated the Vegetable Bin and Farm with her late husband, Carrol H. Warner.
Warner has been active in Republican politics since the early 1970s. She has held several offices locally and in the state. She was appointed by Gov. Carroll Campbell to serve on the S.C. Vocational and Technical Education Commission and served as a member of the Aiken County Council for District 1 prior to being elected as RMC in 1996.
She is the mother of four children and the grandmother of four grandsons. She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Aiken and a member of the Truth Seekers Sunday School class. She is also a guest violinist with the orchestra at Millbrook Baptist Church.
The RMC office records and maintains all land records for the county since 1871 when Aiken County was created from parts of Edgefield, Lexington, Orangeburg and Barnwell counties.
The RMC office is part of the S.C. Court system and must abide by the recording laws of the state. Improvements at the office since becoming RMC include a new computer software system, recovering old deed books and indexes with canvas covers to preserve them and a new microfilm reader that has the ability to make poor quality microfilm legible. Many of the recorded documents have been made available to the public on the county website; however some documents, while part of the public record, will not be published online to protect the privacy of citizens.
Aiken County Board of Education District 4
Keith Liner is running unopposed for District 4 of the Aiken County School Board.
Liner is originally from Pittsburgh and moved to North Augusta 23 years ago to take a job as an environmental engineer at the Savannah River Site. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree from Auburn University.
He and his wife, Christine, have two children, one of whom graduated from North Augusta High School and the other of whom is a junior there.
"I thought I could help facilitate public education in Aiken County," Liner said of his decision to run for school board.