As many of you are aware, one of the hotly contested local city council seats in last Tuesday's Democratic primary was in the race for City Council Seat #2. The race for Seat #2 had Pat Gibson-Hye and Spencer Scott trying to knock off long-time City embarrassment Ed Robinson. 1082 votes were cast. Robinson garnered 535. Gibson-Hye took in 314. Spencer Scott got 233. Robinson just did miss winning outright by a handful of votes.
What last Tuesday's election told us, was that the majority of voters (547-535) do not want Robinson re-elected as their city councilman. The BTPC is calling on all good citizens to help get rid of Ed Robinson.
The City of Florence is at a crossroads. In the last city elections, 3 members of city council were up for re-election. The citizens of Florence elected to get rid of all of them, electing a new mayor and two new city council members. This year, with the 4 remaining seats open, we already know that 2 of those seats will be turned over (Billy D's and Bill Bradham's seat, which has Dem Sam Fryer and Republican Glynn Willis looking to replace the retiring Bradham). Councilman Buddy Brand has no opposition and will keep his seat.
Therefore, if we can get rid of Ed Robinson, Florence will have unequivocally charted a new course by replacing all but one of the members of city council in just two years. Robinson is the last link to an era of do-nothing local government that wilfully neglected to address the festering problems Florence has faced for decades.
It's been less than two years since the last turnover on council and in that short amount of time, council has managed to finally address some long, neglected problems over Robinson's objections (hiring badly needed new police officers, securing funding for an desperately needed new fire station to keep your home owner's insurance rates from rising, and starting to tear down abandoned buildings all over town). Mayor Wukela publicly endorsed Gibson-Hye, calling on the voters to bring someone to council who would help work hard to help change Northeast Florence, instead of District 2 being stuck with the same incompetent representation it has had for the last twenty years.
Robinson must go. But to get rid of him, Florence needs your help. Florence needs you to vote and tell your friends and family to vote as well.
Who is eligible to vote? Anyone who lives in District #2 of the City WHO DID NOT VOTE IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY MAY VOTE IN THIS DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY RUNOFF.
Let us explain something to our Republican friends: If you did not manage to vote last Tuesday, you have a chance to help get rid of Ed Robinson. You will most likely not have such a chance again. Come November, that district is strong enough Democrat that you can't influence the outcome. But right now, you can. You have three options:
1) you can elect not to vote at all again. Bad choice. Florence needs your help. Man up.
2) you can elect to vote in the Republican run-off. Why? Your vote is not really gonna affect the outcome in those races. Haley is going to cruise in the Governor's race. As far as the AG's race, what's it really matter to you? Seriously, is it really going to affect your personal life if it's Wilson or Lord? No it will not, not like city council will.
3) you can vote in the Democratic run-off and kick Ed Robinson to the curb. Just think, you will no longer have to watch Robinson shamelessly and desperately play the race card time and time again. City Council meetings will be cut in time by at least half as there will no longer be the need for council to wait through Ed's rants on every issue. There is no stigma attached to doing this. You will be performing your civic duty admirably and helping move Florence out of the past and into the future. Just think, you can even rib your fellow Republican friends by bragging about how you helped take Robinson down.
Perhaps more to the point, YOUR VOTE MATTERS IN LOCAL ELECTIONS. We know this. Remember the Mayor's one-vote victory? There were only 1082 votes cast in this race a week ago. That turnout for a run-off is likely to be less than half of that. We're talking a few hundred total votes here, people. MAKE A DIFFERENCE. VOTE PAT GIBSON-HYE.
The run-off election is scheduled for next Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010. However, EARLY VOTING STARTED TODAY. What does that mean? It means that if you have to work next Tuesday, you can go ahead and go over to the election commission offices at the DSS building and VOTE NOW.
Do not waste this opportunity. If you do not live in District #2, find the people you know who do and make sure they go out and vote. District 2 of the City of Florence runs all the way from Wilson Road, down Oakland Avenue, to Irby, then to Pamplico Hwy by way of National Cemetery and Irby, down through Pine Forest and over to Howe Springs Road. That's a large swath that touches all kinds of residents. If you really want to replace Ed Robinson, it's going to take Republicans, Democrats, Blacks, Whites, Men, Women, Rich and Poor, coming together in this run-off to announce "enough is enough."