Meet the primary candidates: What you need to know before heading to the polls on Tuesday, June 12

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Greenville County voters will go to the polls Tuesday for primaries.

They will decide the Republican or Democratic nominees in nine local and state races. In many cases, the winner of the primary will likely win that office since no other candidates filed to run for the seat.

They’ll also decide which of a long grocery list of candidates will appear on the ballot in November to replace U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For those who can’t make it to the polls on election day, in-person absentee voting is available in Conference Room H of Greenville County Square on Friday, June 8, and Monday, June 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In-person voting is open Saturday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Voters should use the Human Services Agencies entrance of County Square.

Voters must present valid identification at the polling location of the precinct where they are registered to vote. Acceptable ID includes a valid South Carolina driver’s license, concealed weapons permit, state identification card issued by the DMV, federal military ID card, U.S. passport, or South Carolina voter registration card that has a picture. The ID must be current and not expired.

There are exceptions for voters who are properly registered and cannot get one of the above photo IDs. To vote using the exception, a person must have his voter registration card.

In addition to the contested primaries, each political party has some advisory questions on the ballot.

Republicans will be asked whether they believe voters should have the option to choose to affiliate with a political party when they register to vote or change their voter registration in South Carolina, and whether the state’s tax code should be brought into conformity with the new Trump tax cuts in the federal tax code for maximum simplification and to lower the overall tax burden on South Carolina taxpayers and businesses.

Questions on the Democratic ballot are whether voters support passage of a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients, and if they support passage of a state law requiring the governor of South Carolina to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid and Medicaid expansion efforts in the state.

Greenville County Council

After serving as the District 28 representative on Greenville County Council for the past 12 years, incumbent Fred Payne decided he would not run for re-election. Two Republicans want to take his place — and both have held elected office. Sylvia Lockaby served on the Simpsonville City Council, while Dan Tripp is a former state House of Representatives member.

District 28 Republican Primary

Sylvia Lockaby

Sylvia Lockaby

Occupation: Retired Postal Service worker.

Qualifications: Served eight years on Simpsonville City Council.

Key Issues: Responsible growth with proper infrastructure, no tax increases.

Info: www.facebook.com/groups/428425574009926/about/

 

Dan Tripp

Dan Tripp

Occupation: President of Voter Contact Solutions, a political marketing company.

Qualifications: Twelve years in the state House of Representatives, Golden Strip representative on C-Fund Committee.

Key Issues: Responsible growth, healthy housing market, quality of life.

Info: www.votetripp.com

South Carolina House of Representatives

Ten of the 15 state House of Representative districts wholly or partly inside Greenville County are contested this year, and eight will appear on Tuesday’s primary ballots. If incumbent Republicans Mike Burns and Jason Elliott and Democrat Leola Robinson-Simpson defeat their primary opponents, they also face competition in Nov. 6’s general election.

District 17 Republican Primary

Mike Burns

Mike Burns

Occupation: General contractor.

Qualifications: S.C. House District 17 representative since 2013; has created five businesses in the Upstate; has served in various lay leadership roles in his church; served on boards of the Taylors Free Medical Clinic and Davis-Lar International Orphanage.

Key Issues: Solving the SCANA and Santee Cooper nuclear abandonment issues; tax conformity; House bill H3003, an anti-human trafficking bill that requires filters on Internet devices sold to minors in South Carolina.

Info: www.facebook.com/mikeburnsSC17

 

Lee Vining

Lee Vining

Occupation: Realtor, entrepreneur.

Qualifications: Led soldiers in combat, developed programs for transitioning veterans.

Key Issues: Supporting and protecting the Second Amendment, securing schools, addressing the shortfall in the state’s law enforcement pension plan.

Info: www.leeforhouse.com

District 18 Republican Primary

Tommy Stringer

Tommy Stringer

Occupation: Owner of Stringer Resource Group.

Qualifications: Three terms as House District 18 representative.

Key Issues: Reforming South Carolina’s tax code so residents get the full effect of federal tax cuts, addressing the unfunded liability in the state pension plan, reform that moves school districts to a more competency-based education rather than seat time, facility-based school safety program.

Info: www.tommystringer.com

Tony Gilliard

Tony Gilliard

Occupation: Self-employed residential homebuilder and remodeler.

Qualifications: “Common man with simple roots in the Upstate.”

Key Issues: Limited government, inclusion of “at the pump” taxes and fees on gas receipts, making Department of Transportation a cabinet agency, parental school-choice options.

Info: www.tonygilliard.com

District 19 Democratic Primary

 

Carrie Counton

Occupation: Higher education.

Qualifications: MBA, believes in the American dream.

Key Issues: Attraction and retention of teachers, increase in minimum wage, expansion and protection of Medicaid.

Info: www.votecarriecounton.com

Hao Wu

Hao Wu

Occupation: Entrepreneur.

Qualifications: Army veteran who did combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Key Issues: Getting fair share of state revenue to light and improve several District 19 roads, including White Horse Road; legislation that will lead to economic growth; end of Teacher-Employee Retirement Incentive (TERI) program.

Info: www.votehaowu.com

District 20 Republican Primary

Bobby Davis

Bobby Davis

Occupation: Retired teacher, coach, and athletics director.

Qualifications: Veteran, native of Greenville County.

Key Issues: Smart tax reform, more money into classrooms, secure schools with School Resource Officers, school choice.

Info: www.davisforschouse.com

Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan

Occupation: Vice president of Majesty Music.

Qualifications: Owns and operates a small business.

Key Issues: Fighting corruption in state government, advocating for police and first responders, pro-business growth policies, term limits.

Info: www.morganforhouse.com

District 21 Republican Primary

Bobby Cox

Bobby Cox

Occupation: Director of government strategy at SIG SAUER.

Qualifications: Leadership Greenville graduate, MBA.

Key Issues: Protection of Second Amendment, right to life, ethics reform, term limits, end of burdensome regulations to promote economic vitality.

Info: www.votebobbycox.com

Phyllis Henderson

Occupation: Development officer at Roper Mountain Science Center.

Qualifications: Member of the state House of Representatives since 2010; member of Greenville County Council, 2000-2004; Greenville County Council chair, 2003-2004.

Key Issues: Opioid abuse prevention, school safety, school buses, infrastructure improvements, curriculum for technology-related jobs.

Info: www.phyllishenderson.org

District 22 Republican Primary

Jason Elliott

Jason Elliott

Occupation: Attorney.

Qualifications: Member of state House since 2016.

Key Issues: Public safety, infrastructure, accountability, education.

Info: www.votejasonelliott.com

Brett Brocato

Brett Brocato

Occupation: Engineer.

Qualifications: Actively involved in bringing awareness of political issues to his church, Rocky Creek Church.

Key Issues: Education reform, government reform, passage of a personhood amendment to S.C. Constitution, support of traditional marriage and lower cost of fostering and adopting.

Info: www.brettbrocato.com

Samuel Harms

Occupation: Attorney and small-business owner.

Qualifications: Former chairman of the Greenville County Republican party, former special prosecutor for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, former member of the Greenville County Election Commission, former trustee of the Greenville County Library Board.

Key Issues: In the last election, why did Jason Elliott publicly announce that he is proud to be a homosexual right after the polls closed? Last year, the taxpayers were hit with the largest tax increase in the history of South Carolina.

Info: SamuelHarms101@gmail.com

District 25 Democratic Primary

Leola Robinson-Simpson

Leola Robinson-Simpson

Occupation: Retired director at Greenville Technical College.

Qualifications: Six years in state House of Representatives, 16 years on the Greenville County School Board.

Key Issues: Education and incentives to attract college students to teaching; improving dangerous state roads in District 25, especially White Horse Road; housing for the poor.

Info: www.facebook.com/leolarobinsonsimpsondist25/

Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

Occupation: Founder and CEO of Fighting Injustice Together.

Qualifications: Community activist.

Key Issues: Education, single families, prison reform.

Info: Brucewilson23@gmail.com

Jack Logan

Jack Logan

Occupation: Founder of Put Down the Guns Now Young People.

Qualifications: Serves on the South Carolina Highway Patrol Advisory Committee and is a former member of the Greenville County Board of Health.

Key Issues: Ending gun violence.

Info: Jack Logan to South Carolina Statehouse on Facebook

District 27 Republican Primary

Fred Wall

Occupation: Messianic rabbi.

Qualifications: Owned a business, has served as precinct chair, served on executive committee of the Tarrant County, Texas, Republican Party.

Key Issues: Roads, education, health care.

Garry R. Smith

Garry R. Smith

Occupation: Vice president, Burkhold Smith Planning and Management; managing partner, Nin Tai Enterprises; professor of political science, North Greenville University.

Qualifications: Member of the House of Representatives since 2003; chairman of the South Carolina House Operations Committee; secretary of the Greenville County Legislative Delegation.

Key Issues: Limited government, spending limitations, protection of the Second Amendment, protecting small business from burdensome regulations.

Info: www.garrysmith.org

Ira Williams

Ira Williams

Occupation: Author and consultant.

Qualifications: Expert on health care delivery system.

Key Issues: Creating a 21st century health care delivery system.

Info: voteirawilliams.com

U.S. House of Representatives

District 3 Democratic Primary

Mary Geren

Mary Geren

Occupation: English instructor at Tri-County Technical College.

Qualifications: Member of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, Foothills Alliance board member, volunteer with several political campaigns, co-chair of the Anderson chapter of S.C. Democrats Care.

Key Issues: Protection of Medicare, Medicaid expansion, legalization of medical marijuana, fair pay, infrastructure improvements, environmental protection, universal background checks on potential gun owners, ban on high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

Info: www.marygeren.com

Hosea Cleveland

Hosea Cleveland

Occupation: Owner of an independent property and casualty insurance agency.

Qualifications: Small-business owner.

Key Issues: Minimum pay standards based on the education level of the employee, increased support for veterans and their families, gun reform, immigration reform, improved infrastructure.

Info: www.voteclevelandforcongress.com

District 4 Democratic Primary

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Occupation: Previously worked at Jackson State University, the fourth-largest historically black college in the nation, in development, and was senior vice president for institutional advancement at Paine College.

Qualifications: Founder of Historical Black College and University Sports Classic, higher education development, state deputy political director for Sen. Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Key Issues: Fixing health care, improving education, improving conditions so more small businesses can thrive in District 4.

Info: www.brandonpbrown.com

Will Morin

Occupation: Emergency medical technician and athletic trainer.

Qualifications: Founder of the William C. Morin Sr. Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides funding for youth to launch social ventures. Helped create a rooftop farm in downtown Greenville.

Key Issues: Developing well-paying jobs by expanding vocational education and apprenticeship programs, taking care of veterans when they return home, transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050, a single-payer health care system, reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.

Info: www.electwillmorin.com

JT Davis

Occupation: Owner of a business development assistance firm.

Qualifications: Small-business owner.

Key Issues: Immigration, an effective military, improving Obamacare, basing debt ceiling and budget deficit on percentage of GDP, more cooperation between moderate Democrats and Republicans to break gridlock created by political extremists.

Info: www.jtdavisforcongress.com

Eric Graben

Eric Graben

Occupation: Attorney.

Qualifications: Former Greenville County Democratic Party chairman.

Key Issues: Economic prosperity, fixing the immigration system, protecting the environment, gun safety, restoring America’s leadership in the world, working together to solve problems.

Info: www.grabenforcongress.com

Lee Turner

Lee Turner

Occupation: Tax professional.

Qualifications: Held two CFO jobs, former vice president of business affairs for Turner Broadcasting/CNN, established a white-tablecloth restaurant.

Key Issues: Tax reform, health care, education, affordable housing, coordinated global effort to reduce emissions through green energy solutions, criminal justice system reform, common sense gun safety.

Info: www.leeturnerforcongress.com

District 4 Republican Primary

William Timmons

William Timmons

Occupation: Attorney and entrepreneur.

Qualifications: Member of the S.C. Senate since 2017.

Key Issues: Stopping illegal immigration, holding the federal government accountable, rebuilding the military, passing a balanced budget amendment, fixing the health care system.

Info: www.votetimmons.com

Stephen H. Brown

Stephen H. Brown

Occupation: Attorney.

Qualifications: Former Greenville County Republican Party chairman.

Key Issues: Limited government, individual liberty, being a voice of reason in Washington.

Info: www.votestephenbrown.com

Dan Hamilton

Dan Hamilton

Occupation: Founder and CEO of Hamilton Management Group, managing partner of Keller Williams Realty Greenville-Upstate.

Qualifications: South Carolina District 20 representative since 2008.

Key Issues: Rollback of burdensome regulations that constrain the economy, making provisions of tax reform permanent for individuals and families, more relief from Obamacare.

Info: www.votedanhamilton.com

James Epley

James Epley

Occupation: Small-business owner with primary focus on real estate development and multifamily residential rental properties. Founder of Memtree Inc., a technology start-up.

Qualifications: Former Upstate regional director and South Carolina director of advancement for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Key Issues: Being a voice of the people of the district, securing the border, fixing the immigration system, taking care of veterans.

Info: www.jamesepley.com

Justin David Sanders

Justin David Sanders

Occupation: Production technician.

Qualifications: Five years as artillery crew member, volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Alston Wilkes Society Boys Home, political science degree from University of South Carolina.

Key Issues: Smart legislation aimed at cutting needless regulation, spending, and taxation; investment in infrastructure; promotion of innovation; promotion of military spending; strengthening the border.

Info: www.facebook.com/JS4thDistrict/

Josh Kimbrell

Josh Kimbrell

Occupation: Conservative radio talk-show host, vice president of commercial lending with CresCom Bank.

Qualifications: Served as Spartanburg County Republican Party chairman.

Key Issues: Balance the budget in 10 years, create a constitutional amendment banning abortion, ensure religious freedom for business owners, fund military hardware and modernization, protect Second Amendment in all states, secure the border, and after the border is secured, reform legal immigration.

Info: www.votejoshkimbrell.com

Lee Bright

Lee Bright

Occupation: Operator of a logistics company and an independent insurance agency.

Qualifications: Served in S.C. Senate from 2009 to 2017.

Key Issues: Gun rights, secure border, merit-based legal immigration system, no tax increases, cutting unnecessary spending.

Info: www.leebrightforcongress.com

Claude Schmid

Claude Schmid

Occupation: Retired Army colonel, businessman, author.

Qualifications: Army colonel, businessman, author.

Key Issues: Strong economy, support for police, strong environmental policies, merit-based immigration system, strong border security, balanced budget amendment.

Info: www.schmidforcongress.com

Shannon Pierce

Shannon Pierce

Occupation: Nurse and founder of New Ocean Health Systems, formerly known as CareCam.

Qualifications: Business owner.

Key Issues: Affordable health care, infrastructure, veterans services.

Info: www.voteforshannon.com

Dan Albert

Dan Albert

Occupation: Author and entrepreneur.

Qualifications: More than three decades of business experience.

Key Issues: Constitutional carry, voter registration of citizens only, elimination of early voting and voting by absentee ballot, return to paper ballots, requiring voters to put thumbprint on their ballots, free-market health care system that includes outlawing health insurance, immediate militarization of Mexican border, convention of states to propose amendments, abolishment of property taxes.

Info: www.danalbertforcongress.com

John Marshall Mosser

John Marshall Mosser

Occupation: Attorney for accounting and financial business.

Qualifications: Background in banking, accounting, and law.

Key Issues: Reduce debt, cut wasteful spending, balance budget, restructure Social Security so it remains a viable safety net for the most vulnerable and bring it back to sound fiscal footing, enforcement of immigration laws.

Info: www.votemosser.com

Mark Burns

Mark Burns

Occupation: Pastor of The Harvest Praise & Worship Center, co-founder and CEO of Christian Television Network.

Qualifications: Co-founder of NOW Television Network, served in S.C. Army National Guard.

Key Issues: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness over government control, security, and reliance; military strength, national defense, domestic infrastructure, business-friendly environment.

Info: www.markburns.org

A 14th candidate, Barry Bell, has withdrawn from the race.

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