Incumbent Chakisse Newton wins Richland County Council primary runoff

·2 min read

First-term Richland County Councilwoman Chakisse Newton is likely to keep her seat come November, after defeating challenger and former council member Norman Jackson — who Newton ousted from the council in 2018 — in a primary runoff election Tuesday for Richland County’s District 11.

No Republican candidates filed to run for the District 11 seat, which covers parts of Lower Richland.

Newton won the runoff with 60.99% of the vote. Jackson followed with 39.01%. The pair were separated by 441 votes, according to votes reported by the county to the state Elections Commission late Tuesday night.

The results are still pending certification. That hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Newton, who runs a business consulting firm, nearly won the race during the June 14 primary, with 46.84% of the vote to Jackson’s 34.63%. A third candidate, Eva Young-Prioleau, received 18.53% of the ballots at that time. Because none of the candidates received more than 50% of the vote, Newton and Jackson were forced into a runoff.

Both candidates during the campaign emphasized the need for responsible growth and development. Newton previously told The State if elected she would support county policies to funnel infrastructure resources to high-growth areas, as well as work with state partners like the Department of Transportation to address road maintenance and traffic congestion.

Newton has also touted the need for improved public safety.

Jackson’s campaign also focused on growth in the Lower Richland area, where District 11 is located. He has stressed the need for community involvement in county planning and development efforts.

Jackson, a former restaurateur, also touched on public safety in his campaign, advocating for after-school programs and collaboration with law enforcement to combat gun violence in the area.

Ultimately, Newton had the more convincing platform in the eyes of voters.

This is not the first time Newton has bested Jackson. She beat Jackson in 2018 by nearly 1,000 votes during her first run for public office.

Jackson had served on the council for 11 years prior to the 2018 defeat. At the time, he had been embroiled in controversy, with some colleagues on the council requesting a state investigation into claims he had bullied county staff in an attempt to pay out an area non-profit.

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