Laurens County Republican Party honors County Councilman Stewart Jones

The Laurens County Republican Party presented Laurens County Councilman Stewart Jones with a “Local Government Official” award at their Bronze Elephant Dinner on Monday night at the Laurens County Higher Education Center.

The award is for “outstanding service to Laurens County, steadfast dedication to the Constitution, and for upholding the general principles of freedom.”

Jones, right, is pictured with Laurens County GOP Chair Keith Tripp.

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County Council votes against allowing Syrian refugees into Laurens County via US Refugee Resettlement Program

Laurens County Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday night for a resolution declaring their opposition to refugees arriving and living in Laurens County.

The resolution also opposes the United State Refugee Settlement Program and agrees with the rejection of state funds to assist in the program.

Council members Stewart Jones, David Pitts, Joe Wood and Keith Tollison voted for the resolution. Council members Diane Anderson, Garrett McDaniel and Ted Nash voted against the resolution.

The resolution states that the United States cannot properly screen all Syrian refugees assigned to live in the United States. It places a moratorium on all immigrants that are not properly screened by the U.S. government.

There are currently no plans for refugees to be placed in Laurens County. The closest location is Spartanburg.

Economic development was the other emphasis in the Tuesday night meeting with the council voting unanimously to approve all projects.

Council approved a third and final reading of Project Yak, an amendment for development and enlargement of a multiple county industrial park in Joanna. This expansion will create 13 more jobs in Laurens County.

Council approved third reading of the Brawo fee agreement in lieu of taxes that includes an $8 million expansion.

Second reading approval was given to Project Container, a $20 million investment that will add 60 jobs in Northern Laurens.

A resolution was approved to extend the investment period for Ceramtec. This is a $5 million investment scheduled for Jan. 2016. Ceramtec has invested over $48 million over the last few years.

In other business, a resolution of commendation was approved for Sally Lancaster’s 30-years of service as County Auditor.

Council approval a submission of PC Pharmacy Professor Tommy Johnson to the governor for an appointment to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Councilman Stewart submitted a proposal to continue meetings to set guidelines and qualifications for assistance for private providers to participate in the County EMS program. An amendment was made and passed in a 6-1 vote.

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Sen. Rand Paul picks up endorsements from Pitts, Jones

While visiting Laurens County last week, Sen. Rand Paul secured an endorsement from State Representative Mike Pitts and County Councilman Stewart Jones.

Pitts and Jones join State Senator Tom Davis, S.C. State Co-Chairman for Rand Paul for President, and hundreds of other South Carolina grassroots activists on the Rand Paul for President South Carolina leadership team.

Mike Pitts is a State Representative representing Laurens and Greenwood counties. Mike has served in the United States Army Reserve and is a former Police officer in Greenville. He’s a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment and constitutionalist. Mike was first elected to the State House in 2002.

“I proudly endorse Senator Rand Paul for President of the United States. Rand Paul is the only candidate who has and will continue to defend the entire Bill of Rights and the rule of law, which is why I am proud to stand with Rand,” said State Rep. Mike Pitts. “I have never endorsed a candidate for President, but America desperately needs a fighter who will defeat the Washington machine and President Rand Paul will do that on day one,” State Representative Mike Pitts said.

Stewart Jones is a County Councilman for Lauren’s County. Elected in 2014, after defeating a 24-year incumbent, Stewart has been a leading voice for liberty in Laurens County and in South Carolina. He’s a proud 8th generation South Carolinian and small business owner.

“I am very happy to endorse Dr. Rand Paul for President, because he is the leading advocate for restoring individual liberty and balancing the federal budget. He is the only candidate that stands for the entire bill of rights and advocates a foreign policy that was outlined by the founding fathers. President Paul will help to restore constitutional government and defend our God given rights. My family and I, Stand with Rand Paul for President,” County Councilman Stewart Jones said.

In South Carolina, Sen. Paul continued to spread the constitutional conservative message of limited government:

“The Republican party must be more boldly for constitutional conservative principles– less government intervention in your everyday lives, and more personal freedom. With the help of State Representative Mike Pitts and County Councilman Stewart Jones, I believe we can defeat the Washington Machine and Unleash the American Dream in the 2016 election,” Sen. Paul said.

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Jones Tops Coleman for County Council District 4 Seat

After more than 20 years of service to Laurens County, former County Council chairman Jim Coleman is being replaced by newcomer Stewart Jones as the new County Council Representative for Laurens County District Four.

“I’m honored to have served the people of Laurens County,” Coleman said. “We’ve made a lot of progress.”

Coleman went on to say that there are still a lot of good people on the County Council and he hopes that they can keep the trend of progress moving forward.

“The team’s still in place [so] we’ll be ok,” Coleman said.

Coleman conceded to Jones around 8:30pm on Tuesday night, with eight precincts still yet to report in their numbers.

“I’ve given my life to it [County Council] for 20 years,” Coleman said. “Now it’s time for somebody else to take over the reins.”

Jones was ahead the whole night, taking the lead from the first precinct report.

This will be Jones’ first government official position at any level, though he has been involved with politics for years, most recently with the Laurens County Tea Party.

As Councilman, Jones says that he plans to increase government transparency and fiscal responsibility.

“The people of Laurens County District 4 are my first concern,” Jones said. “It is important for the citizens of Laurens County to be aware of the workings of our local government that ultimately affect them.”

Jones beat out Coleman for District Four Representative, 1,555 votes to 1,100. Click here to see votes by precinct.

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Jones Challenging Coleman for County Council District 4

The filing period for political office submissions in Laurens County ended on Sunday as County Council Districts 1,4, and 5 are open for election this year, as well as S.C. House seats in District 14 and District 42.

The offices of Laurens County Probate Judge, Treasurer, and Auditor are also open and will be unopposed.

Incumbent Councilmen Ted Nash and P. Keith Tollison, both Republican, have filed to run unopposed for Districts 1 and 5, respectively, while the District 4 seat will see a challenger to incumbent Democrat and chairman of the council, James Coleman, in Laurens Tea Party member, Stewart Jones.

Jones, who filed on March 27, 2014 at 11:01 a.m., is a member of the Lakelands Republican Liberty Caucus and contributed $206 to the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign according to

Incumbent Rep. Mike Pitts is running unopposed for S.C. House District 14. 

Former Mayor of Clinton and S.C. House District 15 representative David Tribble submitted to run for the District 42 seat, which represents portions of Union County and Laurens County.

The current representative, Rep. Mike Anthony, intends to run for the State Superintendent of Education office this year.

Tribble will face a primary election in June, running against Republican Mark Cathcart, a Union County native and Clemson graduate who is making his first run for public office.

Judge Kaye W Fridy, a Democrat, filed for another term as Probate Judge. She has served as Probate Judge for Laurens County since June 28, 1993.

Sally Lancaster, a Democrat, filed for another term as County Auditor. She has held the position since 1993.

County Treasurer, Democrat Cynthia M Burke, filed to serve another term as well. Burke has served as County Treasurer since 1996.

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