Byars, Dempsey compete for County Council 7

  • Wednesday, June 4, 2014



Four years after his first election, County Councilman Jay Byars is opposed by Lester Dempsey for the District 7 seat on Dorchester County Council.

The district is centered around Dorchester Road, between Bacons Bridge Road and Parlor Drive, and extends past Beech Hill Road. The seat is subject to a four-year term.

Councilman Byars, the incumbent, is a small business owner in the mortgage industry.

During his term on County Council he’s been involved with the Parks and Recreation Commission as its chairman and has worked closely on the Dorchester Road repaving project.

During the campaign, Councilman Byars has spoken frequently on balancing the county’s budget and improving infrastructure. He said the construction of Old Fort Drive, Dorchester Road and Bacons Bridge Road are the result of county planning and he hopes to continue the trend.

“We got behind the eight ball, and we’ve got to continue to do that.”

Councilman Byars said Dorchester County is often considered a “bedroom community” because of a lack of development, something he hopes to improve in a future term.

“We’ve got to create a climate in Dorchester County that’s good for growth.”

His opponent, Lester Dempsey, is an engineer. He’s heavily involved in a variety of government groups, including several Charleston Highway and Transportation committees.

He’s cited his government experience as a boon for the voters.

“I’ve served on multiple committees (but) I’ve reached a glass ceiling. I can only do so much before being an elected official. I want to be your councilman, I’d like to move to the next level.”

Dempsey has supported conservative values throughout his campaign, including a belief in smaller government.

“I believe that we need to deal with what we have.”

He said he would cut services to keep the county budget balanced, an important issue as the upcoming budget is being planned.

“If they’re cutting money, we have to cut services. It’s as simple as that.”

No Democratic candidates have filed for the seat.

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