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Bristow, Linder to face off in Democratic primary

Three people are running for the at-large seat in this year’s Colleton County Council race, with two of those three candidates facing each other in the upcoming June 12th primary.

The three candidates are longtime Councilman and incumbent Gene Whetsell, who filed as a Republican on March 16th; Democrat Nate Bristow, who filed to seek the public seat on March 26th; and Democrat David “Gar” Linder, who filed to run for office on March 30th.

Since Whetsell is the only Republican seeking the office, he will automatically move through the primary and face the winner of the Democratic primary in the November general election.

Meanwhile, Bristow and Linder will square off in front of Colleton County voters in the upcoming June 12th primary. Since this is the sole at-large seat on Colleton County Council, any registered voter in Colleton County can cast a ballot: it is not limited to a certain district.

Bristow is a Democrat from Walterboro. Like Linder, he is running for the Democratic nod for county’s at-large council seat.
It is also his first time running for political office.
Bristow says, if he elected, he will focus on improving the county’s infrastructure; on its people and community; and on increasing technical education. Bristow says he will also focus on “utilizing all of the county assets,” he said.
Under his leadership, Bristow says he wants to see more community forums come to fruition. He cites the city’s new outdoor amphitheater as an example. “I want more opportunities for kids and families to come together on a streetscape, where our restaurants and bars can serve our adult residents in an outdoor fashion,” he said. “But we won’t grow any faster until the infrastructure is built here,” he added. Bristow says he is in favor of a continual focus on building near Interstate 95, but he also believes that the city needs to do more to “tie in” to neighboring counties for infrastructure needs.
Additionally, Bristow says he wants voters to know they can expect him to always be accessible to voters. He is encouraging people to reach him via his Web site at www.natebristow.com.


Linder is a Democrat from Smoaks. This is his first political run. “I decided to file for this seat because it was open, and I know I can make a difference. I know the community and I’ve worked with all candidates on all different sides on all issues.”
Linder says he has worked with other political candidates in other seats for several years, giving him an insight into how the election process works. He is a self-employed tower and is an auto mechanic. Linder also does “recycling” with several area businesses, including Highway 21 Auto Salvage and Lowcountry Recycling.
If elected, he said his focus will be on the growth of small businesses and community development. “I want to think something progress in the rural communities, like Smoaks and Ruffin and the areas where there is nothing for people,” he said. “For instance, there is no place to get a tire change on Highway 21 from Yemassee to Orangeburg. There is no emergency stop. And that’s an evacuation route.”
Linder said he will use education on grants and the Small Business Association in South Carolina to encourage people to open businesses.
Next on his list is senior care and youth development, he said. “I know I can bring the community together. I know I can do that,” said Linder. “My platform is a better tomorrow … I have a great concern about the welfare of Colleton County.”

New voter registration for the upcoming primary ended on May 13th. For more information on the coming election, visit www.scvoters.org. Additionally, there are several other County Council Seats on that November ballot: more information on council candidates will brought to you in a series of articles in this newspaper in the coming weeks.

Heather Walters (1487 Posts)