On Tuesday, voters in Aiken County’s 6th District will choose between three candidates in the Republican Primary to fill the seat vacated by Charles Barton after he was elected County auditor.
Barring a successful write-in campaign, the winner should take the seat since there is no Democratic opposition.
The three candidates, Lynette Barton, John McMichael and Phil Napier, all have rich ties to the Graniteville area and are familiar with the sprawling district that includes part of the northern boundary of the county and meanders through part of the Valley area and the city of Aiken – including much of downtown.
Each is clearly devoted to Aiken County. Napier and Barton were born and raised in Graniteville and have raised their families there. McMichael was raised in Graniteville, moved away and returned home in 2008.
In this race, we recommend McMichael for Council.
Having spent his early years in rural Graniteville working in the mills, he has the unique understanding of rural life that is vital for someone representing such a diverse district. Yet he has spent much of his life in a more urban setting working in business. That business knowledge and his leadership skills would be invaluable on Council, which has worked hard to move Aiken County forward and to continue strong economic growth.
During his meeting with the Aiken Standard Editorial Board, McMichael stressed serving the entire county, not just one district. That’s vital to the future of the County.
In addition, McMichael is articulate, well-versed and well-spoken. Those qualities are important when dealing with the myriad of people Council members encounter on a daily basis.
While Barton and Napier have their strong points – a solid knowledge of Aiken County and small business experience, for instance – McMichael is the clear choice for District 6. His fresh outlook on the future of county government will serve the people well.