UNION COUNTY — A Union businessman will be the first Republican to serve on Union County Council since Reconstruction.
In the aftermath of the Civil War in the late 1860s and early 1870s, the Republican Party was dominant in Union County holding practically all major political offices. The era of Republican dominance was short-lived, however, and by the end of the 1870s no Republican held public office in Union County which, like much of the rest of the South, became the solidly Democratic “Solid South.”
Union County remained solidly Democratic for the rest of the 19th century and for the 20th century, especially at the local level. While Union County voters began splitting their tickets voting Republican at the national and federal levels and even the state level, locally voters elected only Democrats, a situation that began to change only in the last few years with the GOP winning — at the county level — the offices of Clerk of Court and Probate Judge.
Even as these changes were occurring, however, Union County Council remained as completely Democrat as it was during the heyday of the Solid South with no Republican having won a seat on council for more than a century.
That came to an end Tuesday when Republican David Sinclair was elected to the District 3 Union County Council seat defeating incumbent Democrat Tommy Ford’s bid for a fourth term.
Sinclair, a Union businessman making his first bid for public office, received 1,151 votes or 54.32 percent and carried four precincts while Ford received 966 votes or 45.59 percent and carried two precincts.
His first bid for public office a success, Sinclair said that he is looking forward to serving on council and making good on the promises he made during the campaign.
“I’m excited to be able to represent the people of District 3 and Union County as a whole,” Sinclair said. “I am going to make sure that all of the things I promised during my campaign I hold to.
“I look forward to working with youth and taking part in any clean up projects,” he said. “I look forward to working alongside the other council members and those involved in working to establish an even greater economic improvement program.”
As he prepares to assume his duties as a member of council, Sinclair made a request of the people of Union County.
“I would ask the people of Union County to pray for me that I will do them a good job,” Sinclair said.
Three other Union County Council seats were also on Tuesday’s ballots, all of them currently held by Democrats. The Democrats running for the seats — two of them incumbents — were unopposed.
In District 1, incumbent Ralph Tucker received 1,875 votes or 98.48 percent.
In District 5, Tommie Hill received 1,553 votes or 1,553 votes or 99.23 percent.
In District 6, incumbent Kacie Petrie received 1,711 votes or 99.42 percent.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.