UNION COUNTY — The number of Republicans running for county office continues to grow.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon in the USC Union Student Lounge hosted by the Union County Young Republicans, Amy Austin announced that she is running for Union County Clerk of Court while David Sinclair announced that he is running for the Union County Council District 3 seat.
The event was hosted by Brett Shugart, chairman of the Union County Young Republicans who opened the press conference by talking about the importance of this year’s elections.
“We are at a crossroads not only in America with the election of a new president, but a crucial time in the history of Union County,” Shugart said. “There are four county council seats up for grabs this year (and) we will elect a new clerk of court. “As the Union County Young Republicans we will not only support the Republican nominee in November, but we will support the best conservative candidate for each election in Union County.”
In his remarks, Shugart also looked at the recent electoral history of Union County, pointing out that, when he was elected Clerk of Court, Freddie Gault became the first Republican to hold county office since Reconstruction. He said that Gault paved the way for fellow Republican William All III to be elected Probate Judge.
“It’s time to end the stranglehold of the Democratic Party in Union County and return it to its Christian, conservative roots,” Shugart said. “Looking down these crossroads, one path is easy but it’s full of hidden traps and dangers The other path is the path I want to take, of optimism, hard work and perseverance, but at the end of the road is a better community for us and the next generation.
“It is time for the children of the Reagan era to take on the helm of leadership not only in Union County but all across this great country,” he said. “Today behind me are two people I believe that will help us achieve goals to better Union County, a better place today and for future generations. David Sinclair and Amy Austin are here to announce their intention to run for public office.”
In announcing her plans to run as a Republican for Clerk of Court, Austin spoke of her lifelong interest in helping people.
“I am excited to be here today among family and friends as I announce my intention to file as a candidate for the office of Union County Clerk of Court,” Austin said as she addressed the crowd attending the event. “The decision to do this was made after careful personal thought, consultation and prayer with family and friends.
“I have had an interest since childhood in helping people,’ she said. “As an adult I have found myself working with and serving the people and the public in a variety of ways and gaining experiences which helped to prepare me as I seek to continue public service as Clerk of Court of Union County.”
Austin then discussed her public service experience which she said “include working and serving on various boards including the Foster Parent Association, Union Services, The Union Civitan Club, Union County Coalition for a Healthy Community, School Improvement Council, Moving Up with Downs, Area 12 Special Olympics, Especially Ours Family Support Group and Union County Tourism.”
During her address, Austin also spoke about her educational background and her experience in the private sector.
“I have a Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies from Limestone College and have spent the last several years with my husband as we work together to grow the family business,” Austin said. “This experience includes managing people, resources, budgets and marketing.”
Austin also spoke about her work with the Miracle League of Union County and what she will bring from that experience to the Clerk of Court’s Office.
“I’ve had many experiences that I am proud of,” Austin said. “But the one I am most proud of, other than my husband and children, is bringing a team of volunteers together as we all worked together successfully toward a common goal of building a Miracle League field in Union County. I pledge to you that I will bring to the office of the Union County Clerk of Court, the same energy, enthusiasm and teamwork as we build on the improvements that already exist there.”
The Office of Union County Clerk of Court is currently held by June Miller who has said she is not running for reelection.
In announcing his candidacy for the District 3 council seat, Sinclair spoke of the need for change in Union County.
“I believe it’s time for a change,” Sinclair said. “I believe that in that change we need to be investing in our youth and improving our local environment, strengthening our economy, and making Union look attractive to others outside our community.”
Sinclair said he was running because of his belief that more Christians need to get involved in county government.
“I’m a born again Christian, I believe we need to put Christian people back in our local government,” Sinclair said. “I’m running as a Republican based on the fact that I’m a caring, conservative Christian.”
Sinclair said he wants to make it easier for the public to work with county government. He said he also wants to see the county get more involved with the school system.
“In some past experiences I’ve just felt it could have been easier to work with our local government and not go through so many chains of command,” Sinclair said. “I would like to see our local government get more involved with the Union County school system and maybe work with their job placement programs.”
Sinclair is the owner of David Sinclair Automotive in Union. He is a graduate of Union High School, holds an Associate degree in Biblical Studies, and has extensive expeirence and training in the lines of technician, marketing, and management. A lifelong resident of Buffalo, Sinclair is a member of Welcome Baptist Church. He and his wife, Sonya, have a daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Phillip Quinn.
The District 3 Union County Council seat is held by Democrat Tommy Ford who has yet to formally announce whether or not he will be seeking reelection.
Austin and Sinclair’s announcements bring to four the number of Republicans running for county office. Tommy Mann and Mark Cathcart have both announced they are running for the Republican nomination for the SC House of Representatives District 42 seat.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties will hold their primaries to nominate candidate for local, state and federal office. In addition to Union County Clerk of Court and the Union County Council District seat, the following local, state and federal offices will also be on the ballot in the June primaries and in the November general election:
• US House of Representatives District 5 — Incumbent is Republican Mick Mulvaney.
• SC Senate District 13 — Incumbent is Republican Shane Martin.
• SC Senate District 14 — Incumbent is Republican Harvey Peeler.
• SC Senate District 18 — Incumbent is Republican Ronnie Cromer.
• SC House District 42 — Incumbent is Democrat Mike Anthony.
• Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor — Incumbent is Republican Kevin Brackett.
• Union County Sheriff — Incumbent is Democrat David Taylor.
• Union County Council District 2 — Incumbent is Democrat Ralph Tucker.
• Union County Council District 5 — Incumbent is Randall “Chump” Hanvey.
• Union County Council District 6 — Incumbent is Democrat Kacie Petrie.
Voters who want to vote in June cannot vote in both primaries and must choose to vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or [email protected]