Oconee cities and towns to get political

Officeholders and residents in four Oconee municipalities will have decisions to make next month when candidate qualifying takes place for their 2019 elections. Salem, Walhalla, West Union, and Westminster all will elect mayors and members of their town and city councils this year on Tuesday, November 5. Seneca will be the only Oconee municipality to sit out this election. Joy Scharich, county elections director, says Walhalla, West Union, and Westminster will share a common candidate qualifying period, to run from August 16 to August 26. A lot of the attention will likely be focused this campaign season on whether the mayors in Walhalla and Westminster will ask their voters to send them back into office for new, four-year terms. Walhalla’s Danny Edwards has said he will make known his decision in August, although two city councilmen—Tjay Bagwell and Dennis Owens—say they will try for mayor, regardless of what Edwards’ intentions will be. Facing a re-election decision also is Westminster’s first-term mayor, Brian Ramey.