There was a flurry of activity in the race County Council District 25 in the past 24 hours. This is the seat that Lottie Gibson has held for almost 25 years, but has been out sick since early January after a stroke and some would say out for years before that because she wasn’t paying attention.
At least four people have announced their intent to run for the seat, which covers from Highway 123 through West Greenville down to Simpsonville. It sort of looks like Italy with France attached at the boot. Before we get to them, it is time for a short history lesson. Because of the near constant gerrymandering (is there another word for this?) of political districts, District 25 is one of the odder shaped “political communities” in the region. Basically, in order to keep African-American representation ( a good thing), lines are drawn to make sure that over 50 percent of eligible voters are in fact African American. A tough thing to do. However, the bad side (reality) is these voters will almost be universally be Democratic Party members, which means if you are a Republican in a district like this, you can pretty much never expect to get elected. The inverse is true for other districts where the bases are so heavy handed GOP that a Democrat almost never wins. But at least there is opportunity. Whites don’t win black districts in South Carolina.
Ok, rant over.
Who are the Big Four, Gang of Four, we need a name for them, don’t we? It’s a mix of new and old. Let’s start with the old. Real old.
Allen “Bunk” Johnson, who is not to be confused with the famed jazz trumpeter. No this Bunk, previously served on Greenville County Council from 1990 to 2002. Back then, he actually served District 26, which was the western sliver, southern half of Greenville. He lost the seat, and tried to come back in 2010 and lost to Dan Rawls. In his previous incarnation on County Council, he was known for being part of the group that did things like pass anti-LGBT laws and anti-rave laws. Oh yeah, Bunk has run as a Republican and a Democrat in the past.
Moving along, Ennis Fant is said to have joined the fray. Like Johnson, Fant is a political long-timer and many decades ago was a political rising star. He was barely out of the University of South Carolina when he was elected to Greenville County in 1984, and then four years later, was tapped for the State House. But then he got caught up in Operation Lost Trust, and pleaded guilty in 1991 to conspiracy to violate federal anti-corruption laws. He later rose again as an outspoken head of the local NAACP and was repeatedly named to the Greenville Business Magazine’s Most Influential lists. However, he has not been able to retake his previous political power and lost in his effort to win a State Senate seat four years.
So, let’s get to the newbies.
Bajeyah Eaddy is the CEO/Founder of Standing Against Violence Everyday, Inc. (S.A.V.E), which is an anti-abuse organization. She was named the Gamma Gamma Lambda and Alpha Phi Alpha Greenville Foundation have announced their 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award winner. Of course, we googled SAVE’s financial records, and well, they don’t exist on the SC Secretary of State’s Office.
They also don’t exist on Guidestar. So, yeah.
Next up is Martha Evans, who is the co-pastor of Resurrected Treasure Ministries on White Horse Road. At least, we think this is the same person. Again, she hasn’t really filed much publically.
So is Lottie running? Some people say she is. She may be the best candidate. Despite her poor health, she has the best resume.