Florence City Council race heats up as two candidates announce intentions to run for District 3 seat


FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The race for the Florence City Council seat for District 3 is heating up as two candidates have announced their plans on running.

Former Republican candidate for the Florence mayoral race, Bryan Braddock announced Saturday he will be running for Florence City Council. John Sweeney also announced he will be seeking he republican nomination for the upcoming special election.

“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn!” Braddock said in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon.

The former mayoral candidate started the post by thanking all those who came out in support of his bid for Florence mayor. He then continued by announcing he has thrown his hat in the ring for city council.

“I still believe that we need a safe community that provides economic opportunities and quality of life for ALL of Florence’s citizens,” Braddock said in the post. “For these reasons and with the support of my surrounding neighbors I WILL Be RUNNING in the upcoming special election for the Florence City Council District 3, recently vacated by Buddy Brand.”

District 3 is a single member city council district that has been represented by Mayor Pro-Tem Buddy Brand since 2005. Brand was elected to Florence County Council District 8 on November 3, defeating Democrat Amiri Hooker, to finish the term of Councilman James Schofield who passed away in July.

Brand’s election creates a vacancy on the City Council that will require a special election to fill out the remaining two years of that term. According to parameters defined by state statute, primary elections for District 3 will take place January 26. The nominees from each party will then advance to the special election on March 30.

The pink section of the map below represents District 3:

Braddock lost the Florence mayoral race to Teresa Myers Ervin. Braddock received 9,093 votes compared to Myers Ervin’s 10,052 votes.

Sweeney ran for Florence City Council At-Large, receiving just over 23% of the vote on November 3. In a statement released Monday, Sweeney said he promises “to be the advocate Florence needs.”

“I am proud of the previous campaign I ran, but this will be a very different campaign from that one,” Sweeney said Monday during his press conference. “District 3 needs a fighter, and I am ready to fight. I’m the same person, a member of the same party, running for the same seat, but with renewed energy. I am
the only one who can hold the government accountable, keep the public informed and effectively communicate the conservative case.”

Sweeney is a graduate of Francis Marion University (2009). He has worked as political journalist for the Florence Morning News and a digital journalist with WBTW News 13.

“Those who have already declared for this seat and the others I believe will declare soon are all good people, but they are not the right people for this moment,” Sweeney continued. “They cannot advocate for Florence as I can and have. I have dedicated my career to serving this region and the City of Florence. Whether it was asking the hard questions of public officials as a journalist, or fighting on behalf of my neighbors as part of a congressional staff and going toe-to-toe against big government like the VA and the IRS, or advocating for growth as an economic development professional today, I choose to fight for my community. I Choose


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