Election day signals change in Florence

Florence County, SC - By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Political experts say the Florence election shows city voters are ready for change.

"I think you're beginning to see this trend," Francis Marion Political Science Professor Dr. Alissa Warters said. "Especially with the Ervin win, young and in both races females were strong fascinatingly enough."

Teresa Ervin won the Florence City Council District One race, beating out incumbent Bill D. Williams.

"I don't know if you noticed but all across the country females were winning the races. And so I think that's an interesting trend as well," Warters said about female candidates all over the country Tuesday.

The runoff race for the Florence City Council District Two seat between Incumbent Ed Robinson and challenger Pat Gibson-Hye has voters paying attention.

Gibson-Hye is currently on the Florence School District One Board of Trustees and says she also believes people in Florence are looking for change.

"They want safety for themselves and for their families not just in the street, but also in their homes," Gibson-Hye said. "The abandoned homes have been big since the mayor's race."

Robinson says voters are looking for him to continue what he has been pushing for.  He says his experience makes him the better candidate.

"The people understand what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to upgrade, up lift the quality of life for the people in my community but I've been running up with so much resistance," Robinson said.

Warters says the change people are looking for started two years ago with the election of a new mayor.

"I mean even nationally you're seeing a trend of kind of throwing out the old guard and bringing in a new, and I think that you saw some of that last night," Warters said.

"What I've been doing in the past is try to bring us up, and this election has proved to me that the people support me, and I will be trying twice as hard in the future," Robinson said.

"What I see around this city and just more and more of it going to ruins. Instead of going upward, we're going downward and that's not good," Gibson-Hye said.

The run-off election is set for June 22.

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