(For context: Columbia’s first black mayor, Steve Benjamin, is retiring at the end of this term. The candidates heading to a run-off election are Tameika Isaac Devine, a black woman, and Daniel Rickenmann, a white man.)
A public figure in Cayce is under fire for allegedly making racially insensitive remarks.
Marion Hutson, one of nine Cayce Historical Museum Commissioners, allegedly told a city employee that Columbia “doesn’t need another ‘colored’ person as mayor.”
Cayce council members are now calling for an investigation into the remarks. Three council members voted to keep Hutson as commissioner, and they tell WIS they want an investigation into the remarks.
Hunter Sox was a candidate for Cayce City Council, and Hutson was a family friend campaigning for Sox.
“It’s terrible to hear,” Sox said. “I would not have had someone campaigning for me if I knew there were a possibility he would say such a thing. I was appalled and shocked and we don’t allow those comments in the city of Cayce.”
WIS spoke with Mayor Pro Tem James “Skip” Jenkins who voted to remove Hutson from his position Tuesday night.
“Hutson’s statement is unacceptable and disturbing,” Jenkins said. “I don’t know where we go from here. It’s slated to be brought back up at the council meeting next Wednesday. I’ll do an on-camera interview after it’s resolved. I don’t want to get ahead of the investigation.”
WIS also spoke with Council Member Phil Carter who voted not to remove Hutson yet.
“The comments were unacceptable, despicable and I don’t condone those statements period,” said Carter. “I voted Tuesday for due process so that there can be an investigation into the alleged statement. I believe strongly in due diligence.”
Tim James voted to keep Hutson in his position and hopes there will be an investigation.
“The City of Cayce has a sweet spirit and is a loving community,” said James. “It’s unconditioned and doesn’t mirror the sweet spirit of our city and citizens and we will address this issue.”
City of Cayce Mayor Elise Partin posted a statement on her Facebook page which says she doesn’t believe there needs to be an investigation and she believes the worker who made the allegations.