Local races not getting much attention


The national media has focused a lot of attention on the Special Election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. In that Republican leaning district, Democratic candidate John Ossoff is leading or tied with Republican Karen Handel in most polls. Because of that, pundits are closely watching the suburban Atlanta district for signs and portents of a change in the national electorate.

In South Carolina's 5th Congressional District, which tilts heavily Republican, pundits in the national media have apparently written off chances the Democratic nominee, Archie Parnell, can pull off an upset over state Rep. Ralph Norman, the GOP nominee.

Both candidates are trying to fill the seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who now works as the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House.

Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs tax adviser who lives in Sumter, has run an aggressive campaign, targeting Norman in a humorous television advertising campaign, and sharply criticizing Norman for voting against road funding bills in the SC House and for supporting health care legislation that could kick millions of people off of medical insurance.

The Republican candidate has touted his stances opposing abortion and in support of gun rights, and has criticized Parnell for not voting in South Carolina. As the favorite, he has avoided giving Parnell an opportunity for a face-to-face debate.

Voters in the district will have their say on Tuesday.

Call it the "quiet campaign."

The Special Election for South Carolina House District 70 has not garnered a lot of media attention, but Democratic Party candidate Wendy Brawley said a surprising number of voters are aware the election is Tuesday.

After a primary election May 2, and a run-off election two weeks later, a lot has been asked of voters.

"Folks have really been dedicated coming out so many times to vote, and I am looking forward to a very good Tuesday," Brawley said. "I think people are looking forward to having representation in that seat."

The seat for House District 70 became open with the unexpected death or Rep. Joe Neal in February. The district includes parts of Richland and Sumter counties.

In the May 16 Democratic Party runoff election, Brawley, a publisher and small business owner from Hopkins, easily outdistanced over Eastover farmer H. Heath Hill.

The Republican candidate, Bill Strickland of Sumter, who did not have opposition during his primary campaign, said he is looking forward to Tuesday.

"It seems like it's been a long election cycle for the Special Election," he said Friday.

Strickland, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force, said he is running in the heavily Democratic district to give people a choice. The election has not been contested by a Republican candidate in several election cycles, he said.

"(Voters) have an opportunity this time to elect someone with a slightly different approach," he said. "Hopefully, they will take an opportunity to do," Strickland said.

Brawley said she is hoping for a good turnout.

"This particular election has been very quiet and we are encouraging people to come back out and not forget because they are not hearing as much about this election," she said.

Polls in SC House District 70 and in the U.S. 5th Congressional District will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.