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Jesica Mackey wins Richland County Council primary in District 9

Jesica Mackey

Jesica Mackey/provided

Jesica Mackey has narrowly won a special Democratic primary in Richland County Council's District 9 and likely will claim the seat in November.

Mackey, a public relations executive, outlasted Jonnieka Farr, a business analyst, in a Sept. 22 Democratic primary runoff. Mackey nabbed 52 percent of the vote, while Farr got 48 percent. Mackey got 631 votes, while Farr got 585.

The county election commission will certify the race on Thursday.

There is not a Republican in the race, meaning that Mackey will likely take the seat in the Nov. 3 general election. District 9 is located in the northeast part of Richland County, and includes the Pontiac community.

Farr had finished first with 39 percent of the vote in the Sept. 9 primary, with Mackey coming in second with 34 percent, triggering the runoff. Cody Pressley finished third in the Sept. 9 voting, and Angela Addison finished fourth.

Pressley ultimately endorsed Farr for the Sept. 22 runoff.

Mackey will take the seat that was previously held by Councilman Calvin "Chip" Jackson. The former Richland Two school board chairman had held the council seat since 2016, and appeared headed to re-election this year after winning a June Democratic primary, where he beat Farr in a runoff.

However, it was not to be. Jackson died suddenly on Aug. 7 of natural causes. He was 65.

Richland County Council is headed for a serious makeover next year, as five seats — nearly half of the 11-member body — are set to change hands.

Mackey is set to take over in District 9. Meanwhile, there also will be a new council member in District 2, as Democrat Derrek Pugh defeated longtime incumbent Joyce Dickerson in a June primary. Pugh will face Green Party candidate Javar Juarez in November’s general election.

In District 10, Democratic newcomer Cheryl English will take the reins next year, after she defeated incumbent Dalhi Myers in the June primary. There is no Republican in that race.

In District 7, Democrat Gretchen Barron downed incumbent Gwen Kennedy in the June primary, and there is no Republican in that race, so Barron will likely win the seat in November.

And in District 8, current Councilman Jim Manning decided not to seek re-election this year. Attorney Overture Walker won the Democratic primary in June, and will face Republican Gary Dennis in November.

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