BOWMAN - Not quite shoo-ins, the mayor of Bowman and two Town Council members all face write-in opposition in the Nov. 8 nonpartisan municipal election.
Mayor Marion Glenn Jr. and Councilmen Nathaniel Gaines and Michael Void have four-year terms that are expiring. Although only the incumbents' names will be on the ballot, write-ins Matt Benjamin for mayor and James Aimar Sr. for council are also seeking office.
Glenn, a longtime council member, defeated Aimar in a special November 2009 election to fill the term of the late mayor, Zelda Pelzer. Void was then elected to council in a special election to fill Glenn's council seat.
Gaines has served on council for 24 years. Benjamin is a political newcomer.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Town Hall in the old Bowman Elementary School on Poplar Street. With a population of 2,043, Bowman has 661 registered voters.
• Mayor's race
A lifelong citizen of Bowman, Marion Glenn Jr. is seeking re-election so he can see several projects involving infrastructure development and improvement to fruition.
"Four years ago, we looked at the needs and concerns of people inside and outside the community," Glenn said. "We have accomplished some of the goals, and we are now right at the point where we can get others started.
"We want to accomplish relocating town hall into a municipal complex that has a community center in one building. We also look to start a downtown streetscape that hopefully can be finished by April."
Glenn lists his qualifications for office as experience dealing with county government officials and his previous accomplishments in office. He said the major issues include completing water lines to ensure economic growth.
"We need to complete sewer lines for those areas that were annexed in at the edge of town," Glenn said. "We agreed with the county to be part of the broadband project that could benefit our citizens and businesses and companies looking to locate here."
Glenn retired from the South Carolina National Guard after 21 years. He graduated from high school in Bowman and attended Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and Trident Technical College.
Matt Benjamin, who is challenging Glenn for the mayor's job, did not return phone messages Friday seeking comment for this report.
• Council races
James F. Aimar Sr. feels Bowman needs diversified representation on town council.
"I think we need more because the candidates only represent ... one section of town," Aimar said. "Three-fourths of the town is not represented right now. Four town councilmen live within four blocks of one another."
Aimar lists among his qualifications for office 22 years of observing other small towns around the Southeast during his travels as a service engineer manager.
"I see what improvements have been done in other small towns," he said. "Ours doesn't even compare to these other areas.
"We are losing businesses. It is not what it used to be. I am hoping new representation on town council will generate more new ideas. We also need more unity among citizens to improve Bowman."
Aimar attended Bowman High School and Bowman Academy. An Air Force veteran, he completed his degree in electronics at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. He is employed by Machinery Solutions of Lexington.
A convenience store owner, council candidate Nathaniel Gaines wants to see more jobs come to Bowman.
"Some of the main issues involve getting industry here and getting our folks and kids to work again," Gaines said. "The John Matthews Industrial Park is within 15 miles, and maybe we will see something happening there.
"We have stuff we got started that I would like to see finished. Expansion of the water department is a big, lifetime thing for us that will make a real difference."
The Bowman native is a high school and trade school graduate.
Council incumbent Michael Void says he loves his native town and enjoys working in the community.
"We have some great things in store," Void said. "We have a county water project right now and that is the part of the eastern county growth. I am also very interested in finding outlets for our young people to gain employment.
"I have been a councilman for almost two years now. I know the people, and I am glad to be a part of the movement toward industrial and commercial growth here."
A Marine Corps veteran who graduated from Bowman High School, Void is a retired law enforcement officer.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-533-5540. T&D Government Writer Tucker Lyon contributed to this report.