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With early voting now in effect in Charleston County, voters should look deeply at local candidates on ballots in primary elections. We offer the following endorsements in contested primaries based on experience, service and plans provided by candidates in a survey sent last month:

S.C. House of Representatives

House District 80 is a new Mount Pleasant seat with anchors that stretch from Interstate 526 and Belle Hall through Boone Hall and to areas of incredible residential growth north of S.C. Highway 41, such as Dunes West and Park West. We believe attorney and Republican candidate Chris Staubes is best suited to be on the November ballot. If elected, the former school board member would provide valuable experience in fixing education funding issues.

In House District 112, Democrats won’t go wrong with either primary candidate, but we give the edge to new college graduate Stephen Hilton for his well-thought-out policy positions and the vigor that his youth would bring to the seat. We need more young people in office, and his candidacy offers that pathway.

For House District 116, Republican Dixie Button’s experience as past administrator for the Town of James Island would go a long way to helping other state lawmakers better understand issues of local government funding and coastal management.

Charleston County Council

Former Charleston County GOP Chairman Larry Kobrovsky is the best candidate for the District 2 seat on Charleston County Council. His priorities of taxes, traffic, transparency in government and conservation are tailor-made for this East Cooper district.

Republican and Democratic voters each will have primary picks in District 8, a massive district in the western part of the county that stretches from James Island, across Johns Island and through Ravenel and Hollywood. Democrats should consider Millicent Middleton, an activist whose priorities include improving infrastructure, transportation and education. Republicans should give the nod to Joe Boykin, a retired law enforcement officer who describes himself as a centrist. His priorities include dealing with traffic congestion, managing growth and improving government transparency. 

Charleston County Probate Judge

Elect attorney Tamara Cunningham Curry, associate probate judge for 22 years, to be the Democratic candidate for the county probate judge seat. Her blend of experience and sensitivity to the county’s rural residents provides a solid foundation for the job.

Charleston County Register of Deeds

Democratic candidate Karen Hollings is, hands down, the best candidate to fill this seat after four years of mismanagement by the incumbent. Hollings, who has 16 years of experience in the Register of Deeds office, will create much-needed stability that county residents deserve.

You can vote early in Charleston County through June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, 4367 Headquarters Road, North Charleston. Regular polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 14 across the county.

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