Newcomer Dixon upsets Hutchinson for District 9 seat
A political newcomer, Democrat Julie-Ann Dixon, appears to have unseated Richland Councilwoman Val Hutchinson by a 223-vote spread in Northeast Richland’s District 9.
Dixon, 40 and the mother of three, works at a nonprofit called Palmetto Development Group, dedicated to relieving poverty by helping the underserved, unemployed and at-risk youth.
She lives in Fox Run and is president of the Richland County Neighborhood Council.
Hutchinson, 66, did not concede Thursday morning after having been declared the loser — then the winner — then the loser again in unofficial tallies since Nov. 6.
Hutchinson said, “it wouldn’t surprise me” to see a federal investigation into the county’s election because of the number of people who bailed out of long lines in precincts that didn’t have enough voting machines.
“I don’t mind losing. I just don’t want democracy dismantled in Richland County,” said Hutchinson, one of three Republicans on the 11-member council.
Efforts to reach Dixon by phone were unsuccessful.
Haley keeps mum on Romney’s recent attack of Obama
Gov. Nikki Haley’s office did not offer a direct response to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s comments to donors Wednesday that President Barack Obama won re-election because of his “gifts” to minorities and young voters.
“The governor spoke to Gov. Romney today and could not be more proud of the race he and Ann ran,” Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said Thursday. “The country has spoken, and it’s time to move on.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who like Haley campaigned for Romney, criticized the comments.
“We have got to stop dividing the American voters,” the incoming chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association said Wednesday. “We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent” — a reference to Romney’s remark during the campaign that he could not convince the 47 percent of voters who pay no income taxes to elect him.