Landrum Lions Club holds town hall meeting for primary, general election candidates

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Landrum Lions Club held a special town hall and voter information meeting at the Landrum Depot May 5 featuring all candidates for S.C. Senate District 5, S.C. House District 38, Spartanburg County Sheriff, Spartanburg County Coroner and Spartanburg County Clerk of Court.

According to Spartanburg County Commissioner Bob Walker, who is also a member of the Landrum Lions Club, the candidates in attendance were John B. White, Jr. for Senate District 5, State Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, and Josiah Magnuson, R-Campobello, for House District 38, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger and his opponent, Scott Ramsey, and Russell Lynch for Sheriff.

He said about 50 residents of the northern Spartanburg County community attended Thursday night’s event, which allowed candidates for both state and local offices to introduce themselves to the community and take questions from the audience.

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Brian Keim, president of the Landrum Lions Club, said each candidate was given an opportunity to share their qualifications and goals as well as answering any questions for the office they are seeking and added, although the Lions Club sponsored the event, the organization is a non-political entity that did not intend to endorse any candidates at the meeting.

Clevenger is running against Ramsey in the Republican primary on June 14, and said calls to his office have doubled since being elected, adding that he is ready to handle the surge of demand.

“You want the most professional and courteous,” Clevenger said about when someone might need a coroner.

If elected, Clevenger promises pay raises and superior training for his investigators. The accuracy of death investigations and experience were two key points Ramsey made in his opening speech.

“My entire career is about serving people,” Ramsey said, “and that is what I want to do for you here in Spartanburg County.”

Lynch, who is running against current Republican Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright, said he thought heavily about stepping up and running against Wright in November.

“It’s time for a change, and I think it’s me who can make those changes,” Lynch said, citing the turnover rate of applicants who have applied to be deputies as being “out of control” due to a lower pay than the state’s annual median wages.

Brannon, who was elected to House District 38 in 2010, presented his concerns about the roads in South Carolina. He advocated for a “continuous and renewable source of funds” in order to rebuild the infrastructure in the state. More than half of the state’s primary and secondary roads need to be recreated, according to the representative.

White, who disapproved of his opponent Tom Corbin’s absence from the meeting, picked up an empty chair and placed it on the table behind him to symbolize Corbin’s absence from the campaign.

“He (Corbin) has been an empty chair throughout this campaign,” White said. “He won’t give you the opportunity to see me versus him. That’s not fair to the voters.”

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 14. For more information on polls and where to vote, visit