AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Three Republican candidates are vying for a chance to serve as the next Aiken County Council Chairman.
Former Aiken County Councilman and three-time Vice Chairman Gary Bunker is throwing his hat in the ring for the now-vacant Chairman job.
Bunker says he’s hoping to end the budget gap, bring more jobs to Aiken, improve infrastructure and continuing support the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management Services.
“I think I’m the best candidate, because I have a good understanding of the complexity of county government.” Bunker told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “I’m familiar with all the people the Chairman must interface. I think my fiscal conservatism and demonstrated ability on the budget is key.”
Current acting Chairman Andrew Siders is also running for a chance to serve Aiken County.
Siders says right now he’s working with businesses that are looking to move to the area.
The Aiken-native says his biggest goal is to improve the quality of life by making sure people don’t have to leave the county for goods and services.
“I want to make sure we are getting our fair share of jobs,” Siders said. “I want to make sure that companies are moving here. I want to make sure we have lots of places to live, good places to live. We want to make sure we have good EMS, good law enforcement.”
Chuck Smith is no stranger to the county council, serving nearly 16 years.
Smith says his track record of growing businesses and bringing new businesses to Aiken speaks for itself.
Smith hopes to give new companies tax breaks incentives, maximize on the opportunities that cyber growth is bringing to the area, and properly preserve the lock and dam.
“I’m a doer, I like to get things done. I’ve been an active member of council and probably brought more opportunities to council than any other person in this race right now.” Smith said.
The election is on Tues., August 22, 2017.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.