After one of the most unusual campaigns in recent memory, we’re glad to see a new Aiken County Treasurer is finally in place.
Jason Goings started his new post as Treasurer on Monday after winning the election in November to replace retiring Treasurer Linda Sharpe.
The Belvedere native was one of 11 write-in candidates to file for the seat, but due to a delay in getting the final results, he didn’t even know he had won the race until several days after the election.
His initial plan was actually to run for auditor, but was booted off the ballot as part of the election debacle that removed hundreds of candidates in 2012. He was set to be the lone opposition to then-County Councilman Charles Barton, who was elected handily in November with 97 percent of the vote. Despite having the ability to file as a write-in candidate for auditor, Goings switched to the much more convoluted treasurer’s race.
At the time he filed in late September, there were already eight write-in candidates aiming for the seat. That number would eventually grow to 11, turning the race into an election free-for-all.
He explained to the Aiken Standard that he felt compelled to switch races because after the ballot dilemma, Republican nominees were certified for all County offices except treasurer. The office’s responsibilities are very similar in nature, but certainly not the same. Essentially, the auditor oversees the levying of taxes, while the treasurer is tasked with actually collecting county taxes.
The qualifications to run for both positions are not lengthy. A candidate must be 18 years old, be a registered voter and live in the county you represent at the time of the election. That’s it.
We hope Goings’ background as a media specialist and government and economics teacher at Silver Bluff and Midland Valley high schools translates well into his new role. He grew up here and served our education system for two decades, certainly signs that he has the best interests of Aiken County at heart.
He’s also been working alongside Sharpe to learn the ropes and make the transition more effectively. The two have already worked jointly to make a change in the Treasurer’s office so that all bad checks will immediately be sent to the Worthless Check unit under the Solicitor’s Office. We’re also certainly grateful for Sharpe’s commitment to Aiken County after she served our community as treasurer for more than a decade.
It’s not surprising that on her last day, people were stopping by her office every few minutes, handing her cards and giving her hugs.
Thanks to Sharpe and the efforts of her staff, we now have a one-stop car tag renewal service at the Treasurer’s office. During her 16-year tenure, she tried to keep the Treasurer’s office up to date with technology and moving in the right direction.
We put our trust in Sharpe as voters each of those years, and she served us admirably. We’re hopeful Goings earns that trust quickly and serves our county in the same way for decades.