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ELECTION 2020-BUTTIGIEG

Pete Buttigieg's next test: Winning over minority voters

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's fresh face, intellect and turn-the-page message won votes across many demographic groups in the kickoff states. Now the promise of his candidacy is colliding with the reality of the central question about his viability: Can he win among minority voters who form the critical foundation of the party’s base? That will be tested soon in Nevada and South Carolina. Buttigieg's strategy is to earn a fresh look from black and brown voters by flashing his support in the first two contests, drawing on the validation of minority leaders who have endorsed him and leveraging the personal networks of his supporters.

MISMANAGED SHERIFF'S OFFICE

S. Carolina sheriff refuses to resign, despite council vote

UNION, S.C. (AP) — A county council in South Carolina voted to ask its sheriff to step down after a state police report says the sheriff requested employees to buy him alcohol while on duty and made sexually inappropriate comments. But the Union County Council has no power to fire Sheriff David Taylor. Taylor released a statement saying he plans to serve until the end of his term in December. The Union County Council also gave initial approval to a proposal to let voters decide in November if they want a county police force that might not be run by the sheriff. That resolution requires two more votes.

PATROL CAR STOLEN

South Carolina police: Man steals patrol car, wrecks it

EASLEY, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a man broke into a South Carolina police officer's home, took his patrol car and then wrecked it. Investigators say 32-year-old Roy Wood McDonald also took a gun and the drug Narcan, used to try to reverse symptoms of an opioid overdose, after breaking into the Greenville County deputy's home. Pickens County deputies say they learned of the theft when someone called 911 to report the overturned patrol car on state Highway 183 near Easley on Sunday morning, McDonald was arrested by the Highway Patrol and charged with driving under the influence. Pickens County deputies added a charge of grand larceny and simple larceny.

OLDEST GOVERNOR

McMaster now the oldest governor South Carolina has ever had

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is now the oldest person to ever hold that office. McMaster turned 72 years and 262 days old on Thursday, one day older than  James Byrnes when he left office in January 1955. The governor told The Post and Courier becoming governor after a long career that included time as state attorney general, U.S. attorney, lieutenant governor and head of the state Republican party has been a benefit as he learned a lot from different things. McMaster could serve a lot longer. If he wins a second term, he would leave office in January 2027 at age 79.

WILDLIFE AGENCY DIRECTOR

Senate unanimously approves new SC wildlife agency director

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has approved the new leader of the state wildlife agency. The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to make Robert Boyles Jr. the new director of the state Department of Natural Resources. The agency's board had recommended Boyles at its November meeting. Boyles has been interim director of the department since May 2019, when former director Alvin Taylor retired. Boyles has spent more than 22 years with the agency. He's worked as deputy director of the Marine Services division since 2003. Boyles says he is humbled and excited for his new job and will work with everyone to assure durable natural resources for South Carolina.

ELECTION 2020-NONWHITES

Democratic hopefuls now test strength among minority voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Democrats' election calendar is turning to Nevada and South Carolina, two states with substantial minority populations. The next stage in the nominating fight will test candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, whose success so far has come in front of overwhelmingly white electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire. It may also be a potential last comeback opportunity for Joe Biden. He finished poorly in those first two contests but argues he has durable support among the minority voters who will soon make their choices. California billionaire Tom Steyer is making a big push, especially in South Carolina.