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Longtime Orangeburg City Councilman Charlie Jernigan lost his District 2 seat to Kalu Kalu in Tuesday’s election.

“That’s what the people wanted,” Jernigan said.

He was one of three incumbents running for re-election on Tuesday. District 4 Councilman Bernard Haire and District 6 Councilwoman Sandra Knotts were re-elected.

“I feel like I had a good run on 20 years. A lot of things got accomplished, a lot of good things,” Jernigan said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of good things happening in the future. I’ll be interested in watching the future for Orangeburg because I think it’s going to be good.”

“As a whole, I think it’s been good. I think my run’s been good. Kind of disappointed,” he said.

“I’m sure he’ll do a good job,” Jernigan said in reference to Kalu.

Kalu received 53 votes to Jernigan’s 48.

Kalu thanked those who helped elect him.

“First of all, I thank God for what he has done for me and the City of Orangeburg. I’m coming in with a clear mind to see progress for Orangeburg,” Kalu stated.

“I thank the people of Orangeburg for putting me in. I promise to come in and work for Orangeburg, not for myself, but for the people of Orangeburg and District 2,” Kalu said. “I’m just coming in with an open mind and I’m ready to go in and do the job.”

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Kalu thanked his election committee members, including the chairman, for their hard work.

He described himself as a servant of the people and said that he will work to make clear and citizen-based decisions for the people of Orangeburg.

Kalu is a former Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 board member.

Haire received 71 votes. Challenger William Fairfax Jr. received 18, while Connie Johnson and William Davis Jr. both received four votes apiece. There was also one write-in vote.

Knotts defeated challenger Jack Grayton by two votes, 25 to 23.

She said she’s grateful for the victory.

“I’d like to thank the citizens of District 6 for confiding in me, having the confidence and giving me the opportunity to expand on some things that are already in place. And moving forward we just want to continue on the course which we are currently on, and continue to make Orangeburg a better place to work and to live,” Knotts said.

Out of 3,800 registered voters, only 250 ballots were cast, making the voter turnout just 6.58 percent.

Orangeburg County Voter Registration Director Aurora Smalls said she would like to see a better turnout.

“We always wish that people go out and vote, but a lot of people say they didn’t know,” Smalls stated.

Tuesday’s results are unofficial.

“We have to get everything audited by the state before we do the certification. And that’s a good thing because then we don’t certify the wrong results,” she said.

Smalls said the official results will be available Thursday.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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