Tuesday’s special election — Two candidates running for Columbia’s District 4 City Council seat

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Tuesday is an Election Day for residents of the City of Columbia’s District Four and two candidates are asking for your vote.

After the unexpected death of Councilman Joe Taylor Jr. last December, the City of Columbia Council has authorized a special election.

Residents will see two candidates on their ballot, including ex- Richland School District One Board Member, Beatrice King.

“I served on the Columbia Richland One School Board for 10 years. And I loved it. I am an independent person. I am running on my own merits and on my own record — which is a public record. I am not beholden to anyone or any faction. I am an Independent and I vote on issues, and frankly the best endorsement I can get is that of voters,” says King.

Peter Brown, President of the sign production company Colite, is also running.

“Columbia is a great place to live, a great place to have a family and a great place to have a business but we can do better. And that’s really where we’re at right now. We all love it here, you know? But the problem is, we can do better, and I think we’re right on the edge of this, and so if I can get everyone’s vote we’ll be ready to go,” says Brown.

Each candidate had different takes on top priorities, should they win Tuesday’s election.

“Number one is public safety. I mean Columbia has to be a place where everyone feels safe, and outside entities as well, feel this is a really good place, where they can establish themselves like businesses. And rolled into that public safety is addressing the homelessness crisis for sure, because that affects everything. It affects the quality of life, it affects economic development, it affects neighborhoods etc.,” says King.

Regarding public safety, King also says, “It’s trusting our Chief of Police, and I believe that Chief Holbrook has really already earned our community’s trust with his leadership style and different programs he’s implemented. But we need to trust him more and give him more of what he needs in order for him to fill the gaps in the police force.”

Brown responded with his top priorities by saying, “We’ve got to deal with the commercial tax situation. You know, we were in a really unfortunate situation where it’s not economically viable for people to develop in Columbia. On top of that Columbia has made it as hard as possible, non-financially with permitting and regulations and overreaching and just hurdles to jump over. Number two, I think running Columbia more like a business is really resonating with people. They’re so frustrated because it seems like we’re right there but we’re making everything so hard.”

Brown also said, “I think the answer is, let’s don’t go backwards, lets go forwards. Let’s build off the momentum we currently have. Let’s keep going. Let’s work together. Let’s find common ground. Let’s quit dividing ourselves. Let’s work with the university, let’s work with Richland County. Let’s work with our own City Council to really try to pull ourselves together and make Columbia great.”

In 2021, City Council adopted an ordinance that amends election districts in Columbia based on the 2020 U.S. Census. To verify your council district and polling precinct, visit City of Columbia’s website here.

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