North Augustans choose their three Republican candidates for City Council election
North Augustans voted in the Republican primary Tuesday, choosing three of four candidates to be on the ballot for City Council in April.
They are Kevin Toole, with 839 votes; Eric Presnell, with 747 votes; and Bob Brooks, with 649 votes.
The fourth candidate is Michael Pace, who received the least amount of votes with 352 votes and will not be on the April 30 ballot.
The totals, provided by the Aiken County Registrations and Elections Office, are unofficial and include both Aiken County and Edgefield County voters.
Brooks, the incumbent, has been on City Council since May 2015 and is the former director of North Augusta’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department.
Toole is a commercial loan officer with SRP Federal Credit Union, Presnell is the vice president of Aiken Augusta Electric & Security, and Pace is the owner of Mountaineer Pest Services.
The four took part in a candidate forum in late January hosted by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, which focused heavily on economic development, transparency and North Augusta’s development code.
Pace, who has had experience with the code regarding his business, called it the “biggest hang up” to business owners, and Presnell said relaxing the development code is a “fine line,” saying he wouldn’t want to see downtown North Augusta look like Washington Road in Augusta.
Transparency was also a topic of discussion during the forum. Brooks said he believes there is a lot of trust in City Council, but the city needs to be more transparent in its affairs. Toole offered suggestions towards transparency, suggesting the city upload a citizen-friendly financial report each month on its website.
Toole, Presnell and Brooks will be on the April ballot alongside three Constitution Party candidates: Stetson Corbitt, Elizabeth Jones and Dave Leverett.
Three candidates from each party will be on the ballot because three seats are up for re-election: Brooks’ current seat, plus the seats of Jimmy Adams and Ken McDowell, each of whom is not running for re-election.