GVW Fire Chief Phil Napier won the Republican primary, and likely the Aiken County Council District 6 seat, after securing more than 51 percent of the vote Tuesday.
Napier won over Republican challengers Lynette Barton and John McMichael by securing the required 50 percent-plus-one-vote total for an outright win.
McMichael had a strong showing in the City of Aiken, but Napier overwhelming took the smaller communities, including Graniteville, Warrenville, Vacluse and Breezy Hill.
Barton registered fewer than seven percent of the vote.
“I got out and I worked, I worked hard,” Napier said. “I had a lot of people working for me, and I’d like to thank God for backing me.”
Small-business owner and fireman Napier has a long history of public service, including a previous stint on Aiken County Council.
“I want to be a mouthpiece for the taxpayers of Aiken County,” he said, speaking moments after the final votes were counted.
Napier and Barton both seemed thrilled with the result, sharing several hugs and much laughter as the precincts reported at the Aiken County Registration and Elections office.
“I’m so happy that Michael didn’t win” said an excited Barton.
“Are you as happy as I am?” Napier then asked Barton before hugging her.
McMichael may have been beaten, but he was still considering another shot at the District 6 chair, Tuesday evening.
The insurance salesman said he was going to talk with supporters and family about the possibility of a campaign as an independent.
He did, however, express congratulations to Napier for the win and commented on the exceptional name recognition the primary winner had in Aiken County.