For the first time in more than a decade, residents of parts of southeast Columbia and Lower Richland have a new representative on Richland County Council.
Democrat Chakisse Newton won an easy victory in the Richland County Council District 11 election Tuesday.
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Newton, a marketing and public relations professional making her first run for office, will replace three-term councilman Norman Jackson, who has been a polarizing figure on County Council.
Newton earlier defeated Jackson head-to-head in June’s Democratic primary. As votes rolled in Tuesday night, Newton held about a two-to-one lead over Zoe Pruitt Owen, the Republican candidate in a traditionally blue-leaning district.
“I’m humbled by the support, and I’m grateful for all the trust the voters of District 11 have placed in me,” Newton said. “I promise to make them proud. And my service as councilwoman-elect is going to start the same way my campaigning did: by listening to them.”
Stepping into the District 11 seat, Newton will join an often divided County Council that now faces the task of hiring the county’s next administrator to direct all of the county’s day-to-day operations. Earlier this year, a slim majority of council, including a vocal Jackson, forced the controversial ouster of administrator Gerald Seals.
In addition to Newton, two more new faces will join County Council at the start of 2019.
In uncontested races, Democrat Allison Terracio won the District 5 seat being left by Seth Rose, and Republican Joe Walker III won the District 6 seat being left by Greg Pearce.
Incumbent councilmen Bill Malinowski, a Republican in District 1, and Paul Livingston, a Democrat in District 4, were re-elected in uncontested races.
Richland County Council District 11
- Chakisse Newton (D) 8,816
- Zoe Pruitt Owen (R) 3,774
(19 of 19 precincts reporting)