November’s town elections resulted in new leadership in one of Orangeburg County’s largest municipalities and the return of the sitting mayors in others.

The Town of Holly Hill elected a new mayor on Nov. 2, while the sitting mayors of Elloree, Eutawville and Springfield all won re-election.

Billy Chavis handily defeated long-time Mayor William R. Johnson in Holly Hill. Johnson had hoped for a fourth four-year term.

Chavis received 309 votes, or 66.6% of the vote, to Johnson’s 155 votes, or 33.4%.

Chavis has said he wants to help shape the town’s future, with the rebuilding of infrastructure as one of his main goals.

“Drastic improvements are needed to make Holly Hill a viable town for the future. Our sewer system needs major upgrades that will promote growth. COVID has shown us that we need better response times from the county’s emergency medical services,” he has said.

Chavis has also pointed out the need for improvements with the town’s parks and recreation amenities.

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“Our youth are the future, and there are limited resources that are available to them in regards to parks and recreation. I plan to address the many years that Holly Hill has been neglected,” Chavis has said.

He has also said hiring an attorney and grant writer for the town will also be among the things he will do.

“Holly Hill is in a unique position with Opportunity Zones. Generations of families from Holly Hill have watched the town steadily decline. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring Holly Hill to the forefront of Orangeburg County. Our community holds the keys to our own destiny,” Chavis has said.

In the smaller Orangeburg County town of Woodford, voters also chose a new mayor on Nov. 2.

Write-in candidate Akwete Pettus edged out incumbent Sam Anthony for the mayor’s seat. Pettus received nine write-in votes, with Anthony receiving six votes in the election.

Pettus has stated that bringing back the town’s Hummingbird Festival will be one of her priorities as mayor.

In Elloree, incumbent Mayor Mike Fanning received 72 votes, or 52%, to Krista Hassell’s 67 votes, or 48.2%.

In Springfield, incumbent Mayor Ed Furtick received 83 votes, or 62% of the vote, to Whitney Corbett’s 49 votes, or 36.57%.

In Eutawville, incumbent Mayor Brandon Weatherford received 34 votes, or 40% of the votes, to challenger Le’shonda Parker’s 25 votes.

The City of Orangeburg had three city council seats and the mayor’s seat up for election on Sept. 14.

Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler was re-elected to a third, four-year term after defeating challenger Paige Waymer.

Three city council members were also re-elected to four-year terms with no opposition on Sept. 14. They were: Richard Stroman, District 1; Jerry Hannah, District 3; and Liz Zimmerman Keitt, District 5.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD.

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