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Josh Ridley, former Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors chairman, announced Friday that he will seek election to the unexpired term of District 6 Orangeburg County Councilman Clyde Livingston, who died on July 22.

The special election to fill the seat is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28.

“I am running because, like the other candidates, I care about Orangeburg County,” Ridley said in a statement.

Ridley filed for the seat on Friday, and is currently the only Republican candidate.

He has worked in Orangeburg County for more than 16 years and has been a resident for five of those years.

“My wife and I made a decision to uproot our family and relocate from Lexington to Orangeburg in 2012 because we love this area; we love the people; and we saw tremendous potential,” he said. “When we moved to Orangeburg, I told my family and friends that I wanted to get involved and do my part in realizing that potential.”

Ridley has served as a mentor at Mellichamp Elementary School, on the board of directors of the chamber of commerce, including as immediate past chairman and is currently the medical sales and marketing director at Zeus. He has been with Zeus since 2001.

He said he plans to focus on supporting economic development initiatives through the public and private sector, working with council on fiscal responsibility with respect to the budget and supporting education initiatives.

Ridley added that he would ensure “the safety and well being of our citizens by supporting law enforcement and emergency medical services.”

He said he has actively engaged people within the community in an effort to better understand “how I can serve the collective interests of our entire district.”

“There’s been a lot of talk lately about the future of Orangeburg County,” Ridley said. “The only way to affect the future is to work hard in the present, and that’s what I intend to do for the constituents of District 6 as well as the county as a whole.”

Ridley attended Clemson University, majoring in biological sciences with a minor in psychology.

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He is married with two daughters and is a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Orangeburg County Director of Voter Registration and Elections Aurora Smalls said the candidate filing period for the District 6 seat will be open until noon on Saturday, Aug. 12.

Livingston’s term has a remaining 13 months.

Those wishing to file for the seat can do so at the Orangeburg County Voter Registration and Elections Office in the Administration Building at 1437 Amelia St.

Filing hours on Saturday will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A primary will be necessary if more than one candidate files to run for any party. The primary would be held Tuesday, Sept. 26. If there’s a need for a runoff, it will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

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

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Government Reporter

John Mack is a 2016 graduate of Claflin University. He is an Orangeburg native.

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