Watchdog Report – July 1, 2024


The primary elections to choose the Democratic and Republican party candidates for the various offices were held June 11.  Some of the elections, notably the race for US Congress, went to a runoff on June 25.

Below are the results of last week’s runoff races:

U.S. House District 3: Sheri Biggs defeated Mark Burns 51%-49%.  Congressman Jeff Duncan did not seek reelection.

SC House District 9: Blake Sanders defeated James Galyean 54%-46%.  RPAC supported Sanders.  Rep. Anne Thayer did not seek reelection.

Pickens County Council District 5: Councilman Chris Bowers defeated Brandon Thomas by 14 votes.  RPAC supported Bowers.

Pickens County Sheriff: Lt. Tommy Blankenship defeated Chief Deputy Chuck James.  Sheriff Rick Clark did not seek reelection.

Voter turnout was very low at 5.85%.

In South Carolina, primary races require 50% plus one of total votes cast.  Those that fall short require a runoff two weeks later.  With a few exceptions, the races in November do not require a runoff, even if no candidate gets 50% of the vote.

Voting in the Primary Matters

We often tell Realtors that voting in the primary is important because many offices are decided then.  That is true this year.  None of the winners of the primary for county council seats in Anderson, Pickens, or Oconee counties will face opposition in November.  Of course, write-in candidates are always possible.  There are also third-party candidates, but none filed to run for county council in the three Western Upstate counties.

Filing for Nonpartisan Races

Not all races are partisan.  Those include most races for mayor, city council, and school board.  All school boards in our area will have seats on the ballot in November.  In addition, Clemson and Williamston will have city council seats on the ballot.  Filing for those seats will be July 29-August 12.  If you are interested in running, please contact me.

Property Managers and the Lead Paint Rule

The Lead Paint Rule doesn’t just apply to contractors, it also applies to property managers who manage properties with lead paint.  Many properties built before 1978 have lead paint and recently we learned that a Realtor in the Upstate was visited by the EPA conducting a surprise records inspection.

If you are a property manager:

  • Managing housing built before 1978.
  • Managing any property built before 1978 that is occupied by a child (like a childcare center).
  • Performing or contracting to perform regulated construction activity that disturbs lead paint in the property.

Your property management company employees handling those repairs must have an individual certification as a certified Lead Safe Renovator and YOUR company must complete a Lead Safe Firm certification.

Even if your company subcontracts renovation and repair work, your firm and employees must be certified by the EPA.  In addition, you must use a certified renovator if the work disturbs lead paint.  These certifications have an expiration date, so it is important that your certifications are kept up to date.

You can learn more about complying with these new rules by visiting this EPA webpage on lead paint.

Support RPAC

Elections are an important way that your association represents you and helps make a strong market for real estate.  Through RPAC, your association supports pro-business candidates who understand the importance of a vibrant economy for real estate.  You can help by supporting RPAC.  It’s easy.  Your association includes a voluntary contribution to RPAC on your annual dues invoice.  Pay it, and you are an RPAC supporter.  If you haven’t supported RPAC this year, I encourage you to do so by clicking here.

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs