Political newcomer trying to unseat incumbent in Walterboro mayor’s race

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - A political newcomer is trying to unseat the two-term incumbent in Tuesday's mayoral election in Walterboro.

Bill Young is facing a challenge from Marguerite Chriss Johnson.

"I think the voters out to re-elect me because I have the qualifications and the experience needed to be mayor," Young said Monday.

"Leadership is what we need and I don't think we have leadership," Johnson said Monday.

Johnson says the city is dying because many businesses have left Walterboro.

"Now we've lost industry here, we've lost a lot of stores, there's no place to take your children and we just want to see that back," Johnson said.

Young disagrees and says in the last two and a half years over 200 new businesses have opened in the city.

"I believe we issued in the last two and a half years 280 business licenses, not counting contractors, so the thought that we're dying is just not so," Young said.

Johnson says crime also is an issue in the mayor's race.

She says she has a solution to reduce the crime rate.

Once you put people to work they'll have something to look forward to instead of shooting and killing one another. And I think I can do that, I think I can change that because I'm from here, I lived in the hood," Johnson said.

Young says this year Walterboro was named one of the fifty safest cities in South Carolina.

He says fighting crime is a process.

"Any time something bad happens here and it's something we have to deal with and we have to own it. I don't think it's much different than other small town or cities are dealing with," Young said.

Folks in Walterboro will have to decide if they want Young to continue to lead the city.

"I think I've demonstrated that I'll make the commitment of time and energy necessary to hold that office," Young said.

There other choice is whether they want a new leader in Johnson.

"Somebody has to do this, somebody has to step up, win or lose I win," Johnson said.

Three city council seats also are on the ballot.

The polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m.

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