GEORGETOWN — Candidate registration for the Georgetown City Council special election ended Sept. 10 at noon, leaving one candidate from either major party in the running.
Republican Kelley Ray Johnson and Democrat Tamika Williams Obeng will vie for the council seat vacated on Aug. 12 by Al Joseph, who resigned to become the city’s Main Street coordinator. The special election is slated for Dec. 27.
Johnson registered first, on Sept. 2. A 1989 graduate of Georgetown High School, she moved to Greenville after pharmacy school and served in various positions with the BI-LO grocery chain, overseeing pharmacy departments at stores in Greenville and Anderson counties. She began working at Prescription Shoppe on North Fraser Street in 2016 and purchased the business upon owner Dave Cyr’s retirement in 2021.
“The people that have been involved in politics actively for the last couple of decades, they’re reaching a point where they’re not going to be active in politics anymore,” Johnson said. “It’s my generation’s turn to start stepping up and talking about it, and this is our responsibility now.”
As a longtime Maryville resident, Johnson said representation of her area of the city on the council is important to her and a reason why she decided to run. She named fiscal transparency and encouragement of business growth as two of her most important platforms.
“We need to get more focused on fiscal and financial transparency,” Johnson said. “In spending, budgeting for the city because there’s a lot of areas that it’s just been covered up. We need to just get everything out in the open. It’s the city’s money, the city’s wellbeing.”
Johnson also said public safety is an issue she finds crucial, particularly support for the Georgetown Police Department.
“We need our neighborhoods to be safer,” Johnson said. “The people that live there need to feel safe, the children and the youth that live there need to feel safe.”
Williams Obeng registered on Sept. 6. She is an outreach coordinator for St. James Health and Wellness and a member of the Georgetown Board of Zoning Appeals. She graduated from Georgetown High School in 1993 before going on to Claflin University in Orangeburg, and returned to Georgetown three years ago after more than a decade in Chicago.
“My passion for what I do is rooted in my DNA,” Williams Obeng told a crowd of supporters at the office of the Georgetown County Department of Elections and Voter Registration, many of them workers from Liberty Steel Georgetown. “I come from a strong family rooted in community engagement and activism.”
Williams Obeng’s parents, graduates of Howard High School — which merged with Winyah High School to become Georgetown High School in 1984 — were educators in area schools. Her grandfather was an African Methodist Episcopal pastor for almost half a century.
“My focuses are on maintaining successful community business partnerships,” Williams Obeng said. “I understand the importance of community partnerships, the funding opportunities that they bring to my community and the overall benefit for the residents of the city of Georgetown.”
Williams Obeng said her work in the community after returning to Georgetown from Chicago reflected her desire to honor her family’s legacy in decades past.
“I have been an influential voice for the uninsured and underinsured through my work in healthcare and I’m confident that I’ll be just as effective as a new voice for Georgetown City Council,” Williams Obeng said.
Read the full article here