The Buzz

Caskey, Miles in runoff for Lexington House seat

Tem Miles (on left) and Micah Caskey
Tem Miles (on left) and Micah Caskey

Prosecutor Micah Caskey is headed to a runoff in two weeks against attorney Tem Miles for the House District 89 seat that stretches across West Columbia and Cayce.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to tell voters more about my values and who I am,” said Caskey, who received the most votes in the race Tuesday.

Caskey noted the four-candidate race to replace retiring state Rep. Kenny Bingham did not feature personal attacks, adding that was refreshing.

“I was honored to run in the race with gentlemen who made running on the issues a priority,” Caskey said.

Miles also commended the candidates for keeping the race clean.

Miles said he plans to spend the next two weeks knocking on doors and talking to voters in the district, telling them why he’s “the better choice for the future of Lexington County and the state of South Carolina.”

Former Lexington County Councilman Bill Banning finished in third place, and former County Councilman and attorney Billy Oswald came in fourth.

Marci Eddy, 38, said Tuesday she voted for Caskey because he left a personal note at her home while campaigning. Eddy said she also valued his military service.

Both Molly and Garland Rowe voted for Miles.

“We need to move forward instead of staying where we are,” Molly Rowe said.

House District 69

Meanwhile, state Rep. Rick Quinn won re-election Tuesday in House District 69 defeating a challenge from Lexington County Medical Center board member Ryan Holt.

Quinn said Tuesday it was humbling for his constituents to give him a wide margin of victory.

Next year, Quinn said he plans to push for lawmakers to finish the job of restructuring the state Transportation Department and improve education.

Quinn’s neighbor and friend Carol Lide described the incumbent as “an honest, hardworking candidate,” adding, “He will do a great job.”

Linda Smith, 25, said Quinn knocked on her door and sat in her kitchen while campaigning.

Afterward, Quinn sent her a hand-written thank-you note, Smith said.

Judie Klaas, 74, who moved to Lexington County about eight months ago from Illinois, said she voted for Quinn because of his reputation. “I heard that he has done a good job in the past.”

Quinn easily won, despite news surfacing this year that he was named in a once-secret State Law Enforcement Division report into allegations of State House corruption.

Part of that report says another state representative told SLED that, more than a decade ago, Quinn used his position as House majority leader to steer business to his private business.

Quinn has said he is glad the public can see the report, adding he was advised by the House Ethics Committee that his actions were legal.

Meanwhile, one Lexington Republican lost his primary re-election bid.

Cal Forrest, who owns a firearms business and runs Price’s Metal Shop and Industrial Supply in Monetta, ousted state Rep. Ralph Kennedy, an attorney, in a district that spills into Saluda County.

State Senate District 23

In the southern part of Lexington County, state Sen. Katrina Shealy – one of only two women now in the state Senate – handily defeated two challengers for the District 23 seat.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, but I’m looking forward to doing more,” said Shealy, who advocated for children while sitting on a state Senate panel that investigated the embattled Department of Social Services.

Shealy defeated general contractor Michael Sturkie and Patricia Wheat, who owns a telephone and internet services company.

Cassie Cope: 803-771-8657, @cassielcope

Lexington State House races

Senate District 23

Katrina Shealy (i): 4,384

Michael Sturkie: 2,093

Patricia Wheat: 606

House District 39

Cal Forrest: 2,711

Ralph Kennedy (i): 2,061

House District 69

Rick Quinn (i): 2,159

Ryan Holt: 1,311

House District 85

Chip Huggins (i): 2,343

Bryan Clifton: 1,430

House District 88

Mac Toole (i): 2,070

David Busby: 834

House District 89

Micah Caskey (runoff): 1,026

Tem Miles (runoff): 717

Bill Banning: 596

Billy Oswald: 550

House District 96

Kit Spires (i): 1,231

Perry Finch: 501