Nelson wins Manning mayoral election

New Manning Mayor Julia Nelson is all smiles with her 10-year-old son, Nelson.
Konstantin Vengerowsky/Clarendon Citizen - New Manning Mayor Julia Nelson is all smiles with her 10-year-old son, Nelson.

Julia Nelson was elected as the new Manning mayor in a close election that was decided by 63 votes. According to unofficial tallies from tonight, Nelson beat out Mayor Pro-tem Ervin L. Davis 546 votes to 483.

Tuesday’s special election was held to fill the vacant seat of former mayor Kevin Johnson. Johnson was elected to the S.C. House to fill the unexpired seat of Rep. Cathy Harvin, who died in December of last year.

“I’m very pleased with the results and am thankful for the confidence that the citizens of Manning have placed in me,” she said. “I promise to lead and address all issues as appropriately as I can.”

Nelson beat out Davis in Manning Precinct 1 (32-27), Precinct 2 (31-29), and Precinct 4 (208-52). Davis beat out Nelson in Precinct 3 (195-36), and Precinct 5 (97-30). Nelson won the Absentee vote (204-78).  Both candidates received five fail safe votes each.

Nelson says that she will not have to give up her position as member of Clarendon School District 2, as it is an appointed position. Manning City Administrator Pat Goodwin said that Nelson will assume her position as a Mayor at the next City Council meeting to be held next Monday, July 18. Ervin Davis will remain as Manning’s Mayor-Pro-tem.

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Manning's new mayor is neither a Democrat or a Republican, right? I want to compare numbers from this election and the election from House District 64. The mayoral race had 1019 votes, not including the five fail-safe votes that each candidate received. 737 votes were cast at precincts, while 282 absentee votes were counted. Davis received 400 votes at the polls and Nelson received 337 votes at the polls. This percentage is 54% to 46% in favor of Nelson. Voters at the polls made up 72% of the total votes. 28% of the votes were cast as absentee. That seems like a high number considering the size of the city of Manning. Remember that only citizens residing in the city were allowed to vote in this election. Out of the 282 absentee votes, Nelson received 204 or 72% of the votes. Davis received 78 or 28% of absentee votes. 38% of Nelson's votes were from absentee. Seems like an awful lot of Nelson's supporters were ill or out of town that particular Tuesday, 38% to be exact. I wonder why the people who were out of town, or unable to vote feel so strongly about Julia Nelson?
The House District 64 race mirrored that of the mayoral race. 6528 persons voted in that election. 5165 voted at the polls, and 1363 people voted absentee. The absentee percentage was 21%. Of the votes tallied at the polls Sanders received 2744 or 53% fo the vote, while Johnson received 2421 or 47%. 1363 people voted absentee with Johnson receiving 74% to Sanders 26%. 32.3% of Johnson's total vote was absentee. Strange isn't it?
Has anyone looked into this? I would think that the Clarendon Board of Elections or the State Board of elections may want to investigate. I would also like to know why Attorney Eleazer Carter happened to show up at a Clarendon County school board meeting when it was decided that our new mayor can not hold both seats. Attorney Eleazer Carter seems to always defend members of a certain party. Attorney Carter represented Senator hopeful Alvin Greene and disgraced mayor candidate Ronnie Few of Augusta. I am sure that all this makes sense to someone, just not me.

It is a good day for Claredon County, and a great day for Manning citizenry. Here's wishing you the best Mayor Nelson. I have the utmost confidence that you will provide great leadership. I spent most of my summers in Manning as a child, and know Ms. Nelson as an outstanding person. Manning has been blessed with great choices for leadership, so I understand why the election was so close. Give Davis credit for his efforts. It is my hope and prayer that all of Manning's great leaders continue to work together. Again, congratulations Mayor Nelson.