MONCKS CORNER — The election to fill S.C. House District 100 seat is Tuesday.

Former Rep. David Umphlett, a Republican from Moncks Corner, left the Berkeley County seat empty when he died in May.

Eddy Southard, a contractor and chairman of the Berkeley County Planning Commission, considers himself a natural successor. Like Umphlett, he’s a conservative Republican who will fight against government growth and waste, he said.

“I want to continue what he started,” Southard said.

If elected, he would take another look at how schools are funded, put the Department of Transportation under the microscope and try to figure out how the state retirement system got so far in debt.

But the Republicans aren’t taking the election for granted. Southard is running against a popular African American pastor and town council member in a largely rural district.

Tonia Aiken-Taylor is the Democratic candidate. She downplays party differences and stresses meeting the needs of her constituents in this largely rural district.

“I don’t think it matters whether you’re Democrat or Republican,” she said. “My vision will be that whatever District 100 stands in need of, from our seniors to our children, that you have a great leader who will look out for every constituent at every socioeconomic level.”

That includes making sure the state doesn’t cut preschool programs or teacher positions and continues to support its senior citizens, she said.

The district includes 17,378 registered voters in parts of Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Whitesville, Cordesville, Pimlico and Macedonia.

Age: 64

Family: Wife, Patsy; two grown sons

Education: T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson

Occupation: Owns Cooper River Construction

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Prior political office: None

Contact: 899-6162 or

Age: 47

Family: Husband, the Rev. Jerome Taylor, three daughters

Occupation: Co-Pastor of Heart to Heart International Ministries; principal of He Arts Christian Academy

Education: Berkeley High School, 1982; Charleston Southern University, 1986, B.A. in communications arts; master’s Jacksonville Theological Seminary in 1995; doctorate from Truth Bible College and Seminary in 1996; continuing studies in Christian education at Pensacola Christian College in 2002

Prior public office: Moncks Corner Town Council since 2009

Contact: 843-499-4446 or