Conservative rebel DeMint may cost GOP


GOOSE CREEK -- Berkeley County Republicans are worried they might lose the S.C. House District 100 seat in the Sept. 27 special election.

It was a topic of discussion at Monday night's meeting of the party's executive committee. About 50 Republican leaders attended.

Eddie Southard, a contractor and chairman of the county planning commission, is the Republican candidate. He faces Democratic candidate Tonia Aiken-Taylor, a pastor and Moncks Corner council member.

The seat was formerly occupied by David Umphlett, a Moncks Corner Republican who died of cancer.

The Democrats are already leading in early voting, Party Chairman Tim Callanan said. About 300 early votes have been cast, and almost all of them are Democrats, he said.

Berkeley County is usually a Republican stronghold, but this district covers a rural swath between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner that includes Macedonia, Pimlico, Whitesville, Spring Grove and Cane Bay. An average turnout this time around will give the election to the Democrats, Callanan said.

"I'm convinced we're behind in this race," Callanan said. "If we have an average showing, this seat is lost."

In other business Monday, there was a heated argument over whether the executive committee should take a position on the county's proposed stormwater fees, which are up for final approval Sept. 26. No action was taken.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.