ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Following Tuesday's runoff election, Rock Hill has a new mayor for the first time in several years.
John Gettys won the runoff, defeating William "Bump" Roddey, but Roddey is complaining about a number of robocalls that were made Monday night by the Rock Hill School District urging people to vote.
On the robocall, you can hear the Director of Communications for the Rock Hill School District saying in part, "If you live within the limits of Rock Hill, please make time to visit your polling location on October 31 before trick or treating."
The robocall does not endorse either candidate but Roddey says the District had no business getting involved since there was no school bond issue of the ballot
"I certainly don't think the school board or school district had any authority, nor was it in their purview to send the calls out," Roddey said.
In a statement, the school district defended the calls saying there was no endorsement of any candidate.
The statement read in part, "The District has not attempted to influence the elections in any manner, and the notification was not made at the request of any candidate."
The statement did not say who did order the calls made or indicate how much the robocalls cost.
Roddey says the local NAACP has some concerns about the calls but Roddey stopped short of raising the specter of racism.
"I'm African American and my opponent is white, so we don't know how much racism had anything to do with it but those are just the facts of the ethnicity of the race," he said.
Karen Kedrowski, a political science expert at Winthrop University, said she found the calls to be "unusual," but said one of the goals of public education is to promote active citizenship.
She said since the calls did not endorse a candidate or issue, she found them to be "appropriate."
Roddey is considering filing a complaint with the South Carolina Ethics Commission.
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