2016 Election Update

Election 2016

3 Sun City residents running for office on third-party ticket



Posted: March 30, 2016

Bluffton Today: By SCOTT THOMPSON,
scott.thompson@blufftontoday.com

Three Sun City residents are running for elected office on a third-party ticket with the goal of removing gridlock from national and state politics.

Seven candidates representing the American Party of South Carolina have filed to run this year, including Sun City residents Jim Hinkle for U.S. Senate, Albert Travison in the 1st Congressional District and Alfred North in Statehouse District 118.

The party was founded in 2013 by former Democratic S.C. Superintendent of Education Jim Rex and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Oscar Lovelace. It ran four candidates for office, including U.S. Senate, and garnered roughly 153,000 votes in 2014 after being certified by the state.

Its platform focuses on improving the United States’ global competitiveness by decreasing the national debt, strengthening the public education system and reforming the tax code and ethics laws.

Other issues include campaign finance reform, comprehensive immigration reform, a focus on preventative health care and gun rights.

“The basics of this party is it represents smaller government, higher ethical standards for the politicians, term limits and attacking problems from the center instead of the left or the right,” said North, a retired Air Force sergeant who moved to Sun City from Rhode Island three years ago.

North will take on state Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, who is seeking an eighth term and hasn’t faced opposition since 2002.

Hinkle is one of two American Party members seeking a nomination for U.S. Senate. The party will chose between Hinkle and Michael Scarborough of Columbia at its convention later this year.

Republican incumbent Sen. Tim Scott, Democrat Thomas Dixon and Bill Bledsoe, representing both the Libertarian and Constitution parties, have filed to run as well.

Hinkle, a retired contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense who moved to Sun City in 2005, said this is his first run for political office. But with a small party, he’s tasked with vying for the biggest seat.

“I think we’re at the beginning of a political revolt in this country (against Republicans and Democrats),” Hinkle said Wednesday. “Third parties have not been successful in the past because they either had one main issue, or people say they won’t bother voting for them because that would hand an election to one of the two main parties.

“I say to them if you vote for a Republican or Democrat, you’re voting for gridlock.”

Term limits and more transparency would help improve elected officials’ accountability, Hinkle said.

“As time goes on, the two main sides are growing further apart, and that’s why we are now $19 trillion in debt,” he said. “We need an environment where the politicians care about doing things for people instead of being subject to lobbyists and having to try to satisfy everyone to get re-elected. They should be doing, consciously, what they feel is the best thing.”

Travison, who is running to unseat Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, agreed.

“We’re not getting anywhere in this country,” said Travison, a real estate agent who has lived in the Lowcountry since 2000 and moved to Sun City in January. “We have a Congress in this country that doesn’t work. There’s too much of an attitude from both parties that they have their own agendas, take their own stands, and they’re not paying attention to each other.

“This country is a mess. It’s been in their hands for over 100 years, and it’s about time someone else stepped up the plate and brought a fresh perspective to the table.”

Travison said his primary campaign issues will be education and job creation.

“I see a lot of people out of work. I don’t see the middle class getting anywhere, and I see the wealthy making more money than they’ve ever made,” he said. “And I don’t believe the unemployment figures. There are way more people out of work. A good education system will get people jobs, and if we fix the tax structure and make it fairer, we can get companies to come back into this country and invest.”

Sanford will face a Republican primary challenge in June from state Rep. Jenny Horne of Summerville. Democrat Dimitri Cherny and Libertarian Michael Grier Jr. have also filed for the race.

Hinkle and Travison aren’t the only two local residents running for Congress. Republican Laura Sterling of Bluffton is trying to unseat 12-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Clyburn in the 6th Congressional District. Libertarian Rick Piotroswki and Green Party candidate Prince Charles Mallory have also filed for that race.

Other races

Filing for the June 14 Republican and Democratic statewide primaries ended at noon Wednesday.

Like Herbkersman, state Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, will face competition in November, as Democrat Bobby Green filed to challenge her.

Republican Reps. Weston Newton of Bluffton and Jeff Bradley of Hilton Head Island will run for re-election unopposed in Districts 120 and 123, respectively. State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, of District 46, will also be unopposed.

Beaufort County school board member Michael Rivers is one of two Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for the Statehouse District 121 seat held by retiring Rep. Kenneth Hodges, D-Green Pond.

Republican incumbent County Councilwoman Cynthia Bensch of Bluffton will face a primary challenge from Bluffton businessman Mike Covert in District 7.

The County Council District 3 race to replace retiring longtime Democratic Councilman Bill McBride will also be contested. Republican Wyman Haigler and Democrats York Glover and William Smith have filed to run.
Republican Councilman Brian Flewelling of District 5 and Democratic Councilman Gerald Dawson of District 1 will be unopposed on the November ballot.

In the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s race, Republican incumbent solicitor Duffie Stone will face a primary challenge from Angela McCall-Tanner to represent Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton and Allendale counties.

Beaufort County Clerk of Court Jerri Roseneau and Coroner Ed Allen, both Republicans, will be unopposed.

Source

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