Florence District 2 runoff election set for June 21

Florence District 2 runoff election set for June 21
LaShonda NeSmith. (Source: WMBF News)
LaShonda NeSmith. (Source: WMBF News)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence city council will see a new face fill the District 2 seat held by Ed Robinson after three decades. He passed away in March, and now two candidates will go into a runoff election.

After the tragic loss of councilman Ed Robinson back in March, the community was left in shock, and now they are facing a change with someone new that will take over. Florence City Councilman George Jebaily said these are big shoes to fill to serve the east Florence area.

The two Democratic candidates are Pat Gibson-Hye Moore, who secured 272 votes, but not enough for a majority vote, and LaShonda NeSmith, who received 177 votes. The director of election and voter registration says with more than 8 thousand registered voters in District 2. Only about 700 people came out to vote on Tuesday.

David Alford, Director of the Florence County Elections and voter Registration said, "The actual primary election in 2014, there was less than a thousand votes cast in that election, so the district overall is typically low turnout district." The seat is a four-year tenure, and now the seat holder will last until 2018.

Jebaily said, "I think its important that someone has a passion for service. It's a lot of work and it takes a lot of time and commitment, and you want someone who has an energy and enthusiasm and a passion for service."  Jebaily explained Ed Robinson had just that and he always stuck up for the issues that faced the east Florence area.

"There's a lot of concerns that councilman Robinson was very vocal about and those concerns have not gone away simply because he's no longer with us, they are very real," Jebaily said, adding that believes those challenges will also bring more opportunities for all of Florence, with the continued redevelopment in downtown, and neighborhood improvements. He's hoping the next councilmember will focus on the things Robinson did.

"Whomever is elected will be someone who can carry on that legacy, if you will, and be a spokesperson for the people in that District," Jebaily said. "In addition to that who also wants to see how everyone can work together and further the whole city."

The Democratic runoff election will be on Tuesday, June 21. The county primary on June 14 the voter registration office will be open this Saturday from 9-1 to accommodate absentee voting. The winner of the primary election will be July 26, and the winner will run opposed.

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