AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A special election was held Tuesday, April 11th, in Northern Aiken County and Southern Saluda County to determine the next representative for the school board’s open seat for District 1.

As of the close of polls Tuesday, Deborah Tyler had 364 voters from both Saluda and Aiken County voters, making her the unofficial winner of the School Board District 1 special election.

The special election was to replace Sandra Shealy who resigned January 10th.

Kim Livingston came in second with a combined 210 votes, with almost 64% of those coming from the three Saluda County precincts (Richland, Ridge Spring-Monetta, and Ward) voting in this election.

Tyler, a Wagener resident, worked for Aiken County Public Schools for two decades before her retirement in September 2022.

From the late 1990s until 2014, Tyler was an assistant with the Aiken County Public School District’s Purchasing Department.

In 2018, she returned to the school system’s purchasing department – but this time as Purchasing Director.

Tyler retired in September 2022.

Early Wednesday morning after the votes had been tallied, Tyler took to social media to thank her supporters and all of District 1, calling it “the best District in Aiken County.”

On Tyler’s page, echoing her campaign slogan “Our Community – Our Voice,” she wrote that her mission would remain fulfilling her promise to fight for the best interests of District 1.  

Four candidates ran for the seat representing District 1 on the Aiken County School board: Tony Kirkland, Drew Klapko, Kim Livingston, and Deborah Tyler.

The attendance area of District 1 includes three voting precincts in Saluda County, including Ridge Spring, Monetta, and Ward. In Northern Aiken County, the district encompassed the Aiken County portion of Monetta, Salley, New Holland, Wagener, Windsor, and more.