Aiken Standard | Young wins District 81 runoff

Staff writer

With 53 percent of the vote, Tom Young beat out opponent Scott Singer as the next representative for S.C. House District 81.

Tuesday’s unofficial results show the victor pulled in 53 percent of the vote, or 3,151 of the 5,994 total votes. Singer garnered 47 percent, or 2,843 votes. The difference between the two men stood at 308 votes. Young will replace current Rep. Skipper Perry when he retires as there is no Democratic opposition in the race.

There are nine provisional ballots left to count, but they are not expected to alter the outcome of the election.

The candidates and their supporters gathered in Aiken County Council chambers Tuesday night to wait for the vote tallies. The final result printouts were handed to the candidates first.

“We won,” Young said simply after giving the pages a cursory glance.

The room erupted with joyous shouts as Young supporters threw their arms in the air and jumped around. Young’s wife, Heather, wiped away tears after giving her husband a tight hug.

Meanwhile, Singer sat down with his supporters in a private meeting where media were not present.

“We’re so glad it’s over,” Young said. “I am so thankful to the people who supported me and said prayers for me. We won this race because of three things – a team effort, a good plan and a lot of prayers. I just can’t say enough about the people who supported me and prayed for me.”

When asked what tomorrow will bring, Young said he is going on vacation with his family.

As for the months to come, he said, “We’re going to hit the ground running, ready to do a lot of good things in January.”

Singer remained gracious about his defeat in what he called a “spirited election.”

“I did very well in the areas I currently represent (on County Council). This is a no lose situation for me (as I have two years left on Council),” he said. “I wish him the best. It is time to come together and work toward the betterment of this community.”

Retiring representative Perry said Young’s victory felt “just like Christmas.”

“I thought that all along (that he was the right man for the job),” Perry said. “He’ll do a great job up there.”

Stuart Bedenbaugh, executive director of Aiken County Registration and Elections, said the voter turnout was “excellent.”

He had predicted a turnout of 20 to 25 percent. Tuesday’s turnout was 28 percent.

“We surpassed what we saw in the S.C. House District 81 race two weeks ago, if memory serves,” he said. “It is good considering it was a hot day and vacation time.”

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