Sprinkled between the usual campaign signs in Fort Mill this year were several that declared, “FORT MILL VOTES DEMOCRAT.”
Is that true? Are things changing with the influx of new residents into the area? A glance through the 2020 election results in Fort Mill shows overwhelming support for President Trump’s re-election.
So the Fort Mill Sun took the debate to the the leaders of the York County Democrat and Republican parties. Below is their unedited responses.
From John Kraljevich with The York County Democratic Party:
“There were a lot of races on the ballot this year. You’ve chosen to look for Trump victories. Both Nation Ford precinct — a traditional conservative stronghold — and Waterstone voted for Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison. Fort Mill 4, including the heart and soul of Fort Mill (Whiteville Park and Paradise), voted for both Biden and Harrison. So did Fort Mill 3, including the Sprattville neighborhood. In other precincts like Baxter and Stateline, the Democratic nominee was within dozens of votes of turning the box blue.
“The movement in Nation Ford is particularly remarkable, considering not just the conservative base there, in the shadow of Heritage USA, but considering as recently as 2018 the precinct voted 57% GOP in the state house race and more than 58% for the top of the GOP ticket.
“Thousands of Fort Millians voted Democratic, just like always. Despite attempts at intimidation (including an incident that required police presence at Catawba Ridge High School), Democrats in Fort Mill will no longer be marginalized. We’re here, we’re organized, our numbers are growing, and we’re not going anywhere.”
From Tyler Griffin with The York County Republican Party:
“Going into 2020, we knew that Fort Mill traditionally votes Republican, but we as an organization, and this includes all our candidates, took every race seriously. We know that nothing is ever certain, and it is the voters who make the final decision.
“Fort Mill did vote Republican in 2020. Between Fort Mill and Tega Cay there are 23 precincts and President Trump won all but two. Those he didn’t win were separated by small margins (80 votes in Fort Mill 4, 6.81%, and 20 votes in Fort Mill 3, 1.36%). Our local candidates, who the community knows and trusts, won handily. Michael Johnson won the Senate District 16 race 63.37% to 36.55% (this just includes York County precincts), Raye Felder won the House District 26 race 59.92% to 40.01%, and Tom Audette won the County Council 1 race 59.78% to 40.17%.
“In addition, this year we saw an increase in straight Republican ballots across every single precinct from 2016 to 2020. This takes into account the fact that every precinct had an increase in registered voters. One of the biggest increases was in Baxter, where in 2016, 12.89% of registered voters selected a straight Republican ticket while in 2020, 27.36% voted straight Republican. This kind of jump was also seen in Doby’s Bridge, Fort Mill 2, and Kanawha.
“Overall, we as an organization saw new members from Fort Mill and tons of excitement. We take every election seriously as do our candidates. As our community continues to grow, we will welcome folks into our party, get better organized, and support candidates that truly represent Fort Mill.”