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Election 2016: Filing books open, and the candidates are ready

By Coastal Observer staff
Coastal Observer

Lane Cribb filed shortly after the books opened for a sixth term as Georgetown County sheriff. He is the longest-serving sheriff, according to available records. “I’ve got too many things going on,” said Cribb, who will turn 70 in August. “I don’t want to stop.”

He was among 14 candidates for state and local offices who filed Wednesday. The books opened at noon and will remain open until noon on March 30.

Although the sheriff’s office is scaled to a county with a population of 66,000, Cribb, a Republican, said it deals with a peak population many times that number. He noted that the sheriff’s office was reaccredited by S.C. Law Enforcement Accreditation. “We’re doing the right thing and we’re doing it in a professional way,” Cribb said.

Darryl Carr, who ran as a petition candidate for sheriff four years ago when a filing snafu disqualified challengers statewide, says he plans to file as a Democrat. “I feel like I just got the raw end of the deal having to run as a petition candidate,” Carr said. “I didn’t get any of the straight party votes. If I had gotten those I would have been right there giving Mr. Cribb a run for his money.”

Republican Lee Hewitt was the first to file for S.C. House District 108, a seat being vacated by Stephen Goldfinch, who filed to run for Senate District 34.

Hewitt, 55, is owner of Garden City Realty and was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control board. He is a former chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

The District 34 race is attracting interest from candidates because incumbent Ray Cleary isn’t seeking re-election.

Joe Ford of Hagley Estates also filed for the seat Wednesday. Reece Boyd III of Murrells Inlet, Goldfinch’s former law partner, has said he will file too. All three are Republicans.

Democrat Alma White filed for a fifth term as Georgetown County clerk of court. “Over the past decade, I was able to assemble a very competent staff, and together we do a very efficient job in operating the state court system for Georgetown County,” White said.

There will be a contested race for county treasurer. Democrat Chelice Cox Waites and Republican Allison Sippel-Peteet both filed Wednesday. Waites is property and accounts receivable manager for the Georgetown County School District. Sippel-Peteet is chief clerk in the county auditor’s office. Incumbent treasurer Loretta Washington-Cooper, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election.

Brian Shult filed for a second term as county auditor. Shult, 68, a Republican, was elected in 2012 after incumbent Linda Mock decided not to seek re-election.

Three members of Georgetown County Council filed for re-election: Democrat Leona Myers-Miller in District 3; Democrat Lillie Jean Johnson in District 4; and Republican Austin Beard in District 5. Republican Ron Charlton has said he plans to seek re-election in District 2.

Coroner Kenny Johnson filed for re-election Wednesday. He was first elected in 1996.

Leigh Powers Boan and Teresa Bennani both filed as Republicans for the county probate judge. Incumbent Republican Waldo Maring is not seeking re-election.

Boan and Bennani are both attorneys. They will speak Monday to the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club. It meets at 7 p.m. at the Waccamaw Library.

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