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Bishopville elects 21-year-old mayor, 22-year-old council member

Luke Giddings is a businessman and online college student who opened the first homeless shelter in the county. Now, he's the youngest mayor in South Carolina.

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — A younger generation with what they say is a vision for a bigger, brighter, better, Bishopville was elected Tuesday with 21-year-old Luke Giddings elected as mayor and 22-year-old Keishan Scott elected as a council member.

"I sat back and watched as a young person. I had the same option as many of my friends that graduated; I could have moved away, gone to college somewhere, enjoyed life, and settled somewhere else, Giddings, said. "But I didn't because I believe we can be just like those places. In fact, I think we can offer more and be better." 

Giddings is a businessman, online college student and is known for opening the first homeless shelter in the county. Now, he's the youngest mayor in South Carolina. 

Scott just graduated magnum cum Laude from the University of South Carolina studying social work. Now, he's the youngest council member in Lee County. 

Now that both have won their first races, they hope to use their young energy to make changes. 

"You have to look around and say, 'This is where we've gotten. Are we proud of where we're at?' There is a lot to be proud of in Bishopville but it doesn't mean there isn't a lot to do," Giddings said. 

"I know our potential here in the City of Bishopville is great and really being able to aid in that process to help move our city forward," Scott added. 

As Giddings and Scott prepare to take office, they have a vision of what needs to be improved. 

"Infrastructure, career opportunity, and crime ... so we're going to tackle all three by bringing young people back here," Giddings said.

"One of the greatest things for me is having an outlet for our young children, providing them with resources and tools necessary that will help them be able to operate at their optimal level of potential," Scott said, adding he wants to focus on economic development downtown. 

63-year-old Belinda Scott Hays was also elected to city council on Tuesday. Hays told News 19 she's excited to take office and wants to focus on infrastructure and economic development. 

Gloria Lewis, Wayne Hancock, Shirley Hill, and Edward Byrd were re-elected to their respective council seats.

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