LEXINGTON, SC — Rookie town Councilman Steve MacDougall is challenging veteran Randy Halfacre for Lexington mayor.
It will be the only race on the Nov. 5 ballot in the community of 18,000 residents – the second-largest municipality in the Columbia area – as Town Council members Hazel Livingston, Kathy Maness and Ted Stambolitis face no opposition.
The match for mayor took shape Thursday as filing ended for candidates to turn in nominating petitions to qualify for the nonpartisan ballot, with the winner elected to a four-year term.
A minimum of 568 signatures from town residents is required. Halfacre’s petitions contained 1,141 while those from MacDougall had 955.
MacDougall, a council member for nearly two years, immediately sounded a time-for-change theme.
“It’s time to change the conversation in our community,” he said. “Lexington needs a new vision, a new set of eyes, a new voice.”
MacDougall is distancing himself from the black eye that he says lingers from controversy over the effort of Councilman Danny Frazier – once a close Halfacre ally – to promote Internet gambling through sweepstakes parlors.
Frazier apologized but resisted demands from Halfacre, MacDougall and other town leaders to step down amid reports of a federal and state investigation into gambling.
Halfacre is promoting his experience and political partnerships as vital for success.
Lexington is “ready to reap the benefits” of his plans to ease traffic congestion, enhance beautification and spur downtown revival developed during his nine years as town leader, he said.
“It’s been a team effort with my council members,” he said. “We’re well on the way to getting it done.”
The race becomes official after Lexington County election officials verify the petitions of each as having enough signatures qualifying the pair for the ballot. The review is expected to take no more than two weeks.
No problem is likely since both candidates collected well over the minimum required.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.