Attorney Tina Herbert, nonprofit head Christa Williams vie for Columbia City Council seat

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Attorney Tina Herbert, nonprofit head Christa Williams vie for Columbia City Council seat

Pictured Columbia attorney Tina Herbert, left, and nonprofit founder and Department of Corrections employee Christa Williams are running for Columbia City Council’s District 1 seat.

COLUMBIA — A Columbia attorney and a state prisons employee have announced bids to represent North Columbia on City Council.

Tina Herbert, an attorney and a former city official, formally announced her bid April 26 for the District 1 seat long held by Sam Davis, who is retiring.

Herbert’s announcement at Reid Chapel AME Church in the Greenview community came with the endorsement of Davis, who has held the seat more than 20 years and is only the second representative for North Columbia since the city established single-member districts.

“I know Tina and I can’t think of anybody else to take this ball and move forward with it,” Davis said. “Tina is the person; She’s the answer.”

Christa Williams, a Department of Corrections employee and founder of a nonprofit organization aimed at reaching voters in underserved communities, is also running for the seat.

Herbert, 46, led the city’s Office of Business Opportunities during Mayor Steve Benjamin’s tenure, from 2010 until 2017. The office assists small businesses and enterprises owned by women and minorities with commercial lending and business development.

As an attorney at Columbia firm Mickle & Bass, Herbert represents clients in worker compensation claims. Davis cited her work with the city, including a program to provide money to North Main Street businesses for façade improvements, in offering his support.

“I just felt that it was time,” Herbert said. “I felt that it was time for me to step up and take this district in the direction he was working on and continue his legacy.”

Williams, 36, is the founder and president of The Rural South Carolina Project, which seeks to educate and register voters in rural and underrepresented communities. She also works at MacDougall Correctional Institution in Ridgeville and is a first lieutenant in the S.C. Army National Guard.

Williams is an Orangeburg native and Columbia College graduate who lives within blocks of the school, she said. She said she has been meeting regularly with voters and has heard concerns about trash pickup and recycling service, litter, gun violence and short-term rental regulations, among other issues.

“I thought this was a perfect opportunity, among everything that is happening in our society that is encouraging and pushing a lot of people in our state to step out of their comfort zones and run for office and be the representatives of the change they want tot see,” Williams said.

Herbert announced her run with Davis and family and community leaders at her side. Benjamin, who practiced law with Herbert before she joined the city staff during his administration, told The Post and Courier on April 26 he is not yet endorsing candidates but that Herbert is “smart, thoughtful and hardworking with deep roots in North Columbia.”
As an attorney at Columbia firm Mickle & Bass, Herbert represents clients in worker compensation claims. Davis cited her work with the city, including a program to provide money to North Main Street businesses for façade improvements, in offering his support.

“I just felt that it was time,” Herbert said. “I felt that it was time for me to step up and take this district in the direction he was working on and continue his legacy.”

Williams, 36, is the founder and president of The Rural South Carolina Project, which seeks to educate and register voters in rural and underrepresented communities. She also works at MacDougall Correctional Institution in Ridgeville and is a first lieutenant in the S.C. Army National Guard.

Williams is an Orangeburg native and Columbia College graduate who lives within blocks of the school, she said. She said she has been meeting regularly with voters and has heard concerns about trash pickup and recycling service, litter, gun violence and short-term rental regulations, among other issues.

“I thought this was a perfect opportunity, among everything that is happening in our society that is encouraging and pushing a lot of people in our state to step out of their comfort zones and run for office and be the representatives of the change they want tot see,” Williams said.

Herbert announced her run with Davis and family and community leaders at her side. Benjamin, who practiced law with Herbert before she joined the city staff during his administration, told The Post and Courier on April 26 he is not yet endorsing candidates but that Herbert is “smart, thoughtful and hardworking with deep roots in North Columbia.”

The seven-member council could see new faces in more than half of the seats in 2022.

Benjamin and Davis won’t seek reelection, and District 4 representative Daniel Rickenmann and at-large Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine will leave their seats open to run for mayor, along with former Benjamin aide Sam Johnson.

Four known candidates are seeking Devine’s at-large seat — Tyler Bailey, Heather Bauer, Aditi Brussels and Deitra Matthews.

Developer and former state commerce secretary Joe Taylor has said he is considering a run for Rickenmann’s District 4 post but hasn’t formally announced his candidacy.

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