AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)- Tuesday, some voters will choose a new Aiken County Council member. Democrat, P.K. Hightower and Republican, James Hankinson will face off to fill the District 8 seat left open when Willar Hightower Junior retired because of health issues.

P.K. Hightower has been an employee out at SRS for 35 years. She has served on the Aiken County planning Commission, human relations commission and worked with the United Way of Aiken.

Hightower told NewsChannel 6 that while she is looking to fill her husband’s seat, she wants to be clear that she is not her husband.

“I’ve been there with him, helping him, but I didn’t do his job and he’s not going to do my job. And I don’t bring his experience. I bring my experience with listening to what he has done and the things he’s encountered. So, lessons learned,” she explained.

Hankinson is an employee of the Aiken County Public School District and is the owner of the non-profit “Hankinson Boxing Gym” in Aiken.

He also serves as the vice president of the Boxing Amateur Commission for the state of South Carolina.

He said that he is running for office because he sees so many issues that need to be addressed in his district.

“Right now you have a lot of issues, lets say in the Six Points area where the water is dirty or it’s metal in the water. They don’t have clean drinking water. We move on to Shiloh Heights where it’s dark when you drive down the road. No side walks. When you come down to a certain part of the night, people is walking in the middle of the road stand a chance of getting hit by a car,” said Hankinson.

Both say they have one main priority if they win the election.

“The most important thing is being able to get the voice of the constituents. Making sure we understand what it is that they need. And that’s what I’ve always said. Establish and maintain communication with the constituents of Aiken County.” said Hightower.

“The constituents need to be put first and foremost. So that’s number one. Listening to the constituents and being willing to go out there and fight for the constituents,” Hankinson said.

Voting in the Aiken County Council District 8 special election is today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Aiken County Council District 8 Special Election Polling Locations:

  • St. John’s Methodist Church- 104 Newberry St NW, Aiken, Precinct 1
  • Lessie B. Price Senior and Youth Center- 841 Edgefield Ave NW, Aiken, Precinct 2 & Six Points No. 36
  • Aiken High School- 449 Rutland Dr NW, Aiken, Precinct 3
  • Schofield Middle School- 224 Kershaw St NE, Aiken, Precinct 4
  • St. Mary’s Smith Hall- 125 Park Ave SE, Aiken, Precinct 5
  • Center Fire Substation- 7 T and S Dr, Aiken, China Springs
  • Hope Center- 3 Hickman St, Graniteville, Graniteville
  • Montmorenci First Baptist Church- 44 Old Barnwell Rd, Aiken, Montmorenci No. 22
  • JD Lever Elementary School- 2404 Columbia HWY N, Aiken, Shiloh
  • USC Aiken Convocation Center- 2049 Champion Way, Aiken, Six Points No. 35
  • First Baptist Church, Vaucluse- 2 Church St, Aiken, Vaucluse
  • First Baptist Church, Warrenville- 1012 Aiken BLVD, Warrenville, Warrenville
  • Aiken Electric Coop- 2790 Wagener Rd, Aiken, Couchton, Levels No. 72
  • E. Aiken School of the Arts- 223 Old Wagener Rd, Aiken, Reds Branch

Photojournalist: Will Baker.