GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Voters return to the polls Tuesday for run-off elections in several local races after clear winners were not determined during the general election on November 5th.
In Mauldin, the race for Mayor has been one of the most highly contested races of the election season, starting with three candidates and a write-in campaign that split the votes.
Incumbent Dennis Raines and City Councilman Terry Merritt are facing each other in the November 19th runoff election.
In the general election, Raines had 34 percent of the votes, while Merritt had a slightly higher edge with 39 percent. That difference came down to just 109 votes.
After the results came in, Raines said he hopes voters will focus on his track record and experience as a public servant over the last four decades, while Merritt says the biggest problem with the current leadership is not getting information out to the public.
As the city has plans in the works to create a downtown area in Mauldin, voters say the most important issue to them is the growth in the city, something that both candidates say they recognize.
“We have an opportunity now to move from that crossroads syndrome to become a downtown that will be a destination,” Raines said.
Merritt pointed to the city’s plans for a downtown city center. “Our city center is a radical concept. We have a shot to make it right,” he said. “I think we’re as close today as we ever have been, and we need now to communicate that and sell it to all the citizens who are worried about some of the other concerns.”
In Spartanburg, two candidates will face off again for the City Council District 1 seat. Incumbent Sterling Anderson will take on newcomer Meghan Smith in the runoff election. They tied with 351 votes each in the election on November 5th.
Smith is a Dorman High School graduate who returned to Spartanburg ten years ago, saying she wanted to raise her family in Spartanburg.
Anderson is a Spartanburg native who says he’s running again to continue development downtown, which includes a new judicial center.
Belton voters will decide on a City Council Seat, Pacolet has an opening on Town Council, and Fountain Inn will also choose its mayor.
Voting will take place from 7am to 7pm. Voters need to bring a government issued photo I.D. with them to the polls.