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      Election preview: Courson, West, Rikard all hoping to move SC forward

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - With just one week until election day, races around the Midlands are heating up.

      The District 20 race for Senate has two contenders hoping to knock off a long time fixture at the Statehouse.

      John Courson has been a senator for nearly 30 years and hopes to keep on serving the people of District 20, but he faces some tough competition on election day.

      Democrat Robert Rikard and Green Party candidate Scott West are also battling for the seat.

      Courson and challenger Robert Rikard see many of the same issues affecting South Carolina. Ethics and education reform are top on the list. The candidates feel they have solutions to help move the state forward.

      "I've appointed a bipartisan committee of five senators to hold public hearings throughout South Carolina - Receive input from them, see what they want us to do as far as tightening ethics laws," said Courson.

      Rikard says state government is stuck in a rut.

      "They just do the same thing over and over and over, and we need to advance South Carolina for everybody," said Rikard.

      West plans on tackling the ethics issue also, along with other concerns including solar power and gay and lesbian rights.

      All three candidates are making simple appeals to voters as November 6 gets closer.

      "Vote for someone who represents the progressive policies supported by the District," said West.

      Rikard says voters should "just focus on making District 20 the thriving place it should be."

      Courson says, "I've been told we need more John Coursons in the Statehouse. People who can work across party lines and get things done.

      The voters' decision will either bring new blood to District 20 or keep a familiar face in office.