UNION COUNTY — A retired federal employee said that if elected to Union County Council he will use his experience in the federal government to help address the problems facing the county.
In a statement released this week, James R. Rice announced that he is running for the District 2 Union County Council seat.
“Union County is my home town and I am seeking the District 2 nomination of the Democratic Party for Union County Council,” Rice said.
Rice said that if elected one of his goals will be to strengthen education and improve job opportunities for the county’s young people.
“I believe we need a strong educational system for our young people to learn a trade or traditional education, and the jobs to keep them here in Union,” Rice said.
Rice pointed to his own life experience as an illustration of the impact education can have on a person’s opportunities in life and the need to provide that education and those opportunities locally.
“I am a graduate of Sims High School Class of 1957,” Rice said. “I moved to Washington, DC, in August of 1957 and enrolled in school in September of 1957 at the Joseph Pergard Trade School to achieve the skill of brick masonry. After two years apprenticeship, I was employed ten years as a bricklayer. I then pursued employment with the United States government, Department of Housing, and remained with the US Department of Housing for 34 1/2 years.”
At the end of his career in the federal government, Rice returned to Union County and became active in the community.
“I am a Christian and a member of New Hope AME Zion Church,” Rice said. “I am a trustee and member of the male choir.”
With his candidacy for the District 2 seat, Rice is looking to increase that involvement in the community and address the problems facing the county.
“I returned to Union in 2002 after retirement,” Rice said. “I believe it is time for all of us to stop asking ‘Why are we not growing?’ and be willing to do something about it. I believe it is bad decisions among other things that has caused our county to be where it is today.”
Rice said that he believes he can use his experience in the federal government to help address the problems facing the county and that his being retired gives him the time to devote himself to serving on council.
“I believe that I can help solve some of the problems that we have here in Union County by working across the board with all agencies involved,” Rice said. “I am willing to take the necessary training that is offered by the State of South Carolina that will help us make the right decisions on many of the issues we face. I have the time to go to meetings outside of Union County that are necessary to gain the knowledge to move Union County forward. I believe my experience with the federal government will be an asset for Union County Council.”
Quoting Proverbs 29:18, Rice said that “I believe ‘where there is no vision the people will perish.’ I ask for your support in the upcoming election.”
The District 2 seat is currently held by Councilman Ralph Tucker who has also announced that he will be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the seat.
With their announcements, Rice and Tucker bring to eight the number of persons who have formally announced their bids for county or state legislative offices in County.
Amy Austin and Melanie Lawson have both announced that they are running for Union County Clerk of Court with Austin running as a Republican and Lawson as a Democrat. The Clerk of Court’s Office is currently held by Clerk of Court June Miller, a Democrat, who has said she will not be a candidate for reelection.
Mark Cathcart and Tommy Mann have both announced that they are running for the Republican nomination for the SC House District 42 seat. The District 42 seat is currently held by Rep. Mike Anthony, a Democrat, who has yet to formally announce whether or not he will seek reelection.
Tommy Hill has announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for the Union County Council District 2 seat. The seat is currently held by Councilman Randall “Chump” Hanvey, a Democrat, who has yet to formally announce whether or not he will seek reelection.
David Sinclair has announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for the Union County Council District 3 seat. The seat is currently held by Councilman Tommy Ford, a Democrat, who has yet to formally announce whether or not he will seek reelection.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties will hold their primaries to nominate candidate for local, state and federal office. 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.
• Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor — Incumbent is Republican Kevin Brackett.
• Union County Sheriff — Incumbent is Democrat David Taylor.
• 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]