Ford running for fourth term

By: By Charles Warner -

UNION COUNTY — Citing his record as a member of council and the experience he has gained during his years of service an incumbent councilman says he will seek a fourth term on Union County Council.

District 3 Councilman Tommy Ford announced this week that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the council seat he has held for the past 12 years. In announcing his bid for reelection, Ford emphasized his experience and performance as a member of council and his strong ties to and depth of involvement in the community.

“I am seeking another term for County Council District 3,” Ford said. “I feel my experience is needed to keep Union County moving forward. I consider myself a man of the people and have been a citizen of our great county all my life. I live in Buffalo with my wife, Judy Ford, of 49 years. I have three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. I’m also a member of Buffalo Baptist Church.

“I’m not a ‘yes man’ on council,” he said. “I stand up and vote for what is right for District Three and for Union County.”

Ford also pointed to the accomplishments of his 12 years on council.

“In 2015, we as a council worked with the County Transportation Committee and were able to secure funding and resurface twenty-five county roads — approximately eight miles of asphalt — as well as resurfacing Highway 72 in Carlisle, Highway 215 in the Buffalo Community, Highway 49 through Cross Keys, and portions of Highway 18. It’s estimated that we will resurface twenty-five-plus roads in 2016.

“We are working with the Union County School District, SCC, and USCU to bring more opportunities to the people of Union County by encouraging dual credits for high school students in welding, mechatronics, and other college level courses,” he said. “We are also offering TAP, which is a Tuition Assistance Program for the students of Union County. Teaming with SCC and USCU, we look for new courses to train our citizens that will open new job opportunities in our county.”

Ford also cited the investments and new jobs the county has recruited over the past 12 years.

“During my tenure on council, we as a county and nation have seen some ups and downs in our economy,” Ford said. “I’m glad to say that during my years on council we have seen some great additions for job opportunities. In 2015, we announced over $27 million in capital investments and key new industrial announcements including Vapor Apparel, GES Recycling, and the expansion of Haemonetics and Standard Textile, creating much needed jobs for Union County. We are currently working to bring more jobs to Union County.”

Ford concluded his announcement by emphasizing the qualities he feels are important for the future of the county.

“In closing, I believe that experience, loyalty, and honesty are the keys to keeping Union County on the right path,” Ford said. “I’d appreciate your support in my bid for reelection.”

Also running for the District 3 seat is Republican David Sinclair.

With his announcement, Ford brings to nine the number of persons who have formally announced their bids for county or state legislative offices in Union County.

District 2 Union County Councilman Ralph Tucker has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for another term on council. Also running for the Democratic nomination for the District 2 seat is James R. Rice.

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.


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.
Will seek the Democratic nomination

By Charles Warner

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or