Meet the Candidates: 5 Running for 3 Clemson City Council Seats | Greenville

CLEMSON — Three seats are up for grabs on Clemson City Council on Nov. 8 with five candidates vying for the seats.

Incumbents Alesia Smith and John Fulmer are both trying to keep their places on the board. Current Councilor Fran McGuire chose not to seek re-election.

Clemson City Council members are all elected at-large, meaning voters can vote for three of the five candidates.

Early voting for Clemson residents is available at the Central-Clemson Library at 105 Commons Way and the Pickens County Voter Registration and Elections Office at 222 McDaniel Ave. at Pickens.

Clemson residents who live in Anderson County can vote early at its electoral headquarters at 301 N. Main Street in downtown Anderson.

The five candidates – Lillian Boatwright, John Fulmer, Adam Jones, Alesia Smith and Margaret Thompson – each answered a few questions about their top priorities for city council. Their unedited responses are below.

Lillian Boatwright, Business Operations Manager

Lives in Clemson since 2007






Lillian Boatwright, candidate for Clemson City Council. Provided




What 3 things would you like to accomplish as a board member?

Establish new design standards. Maintain the relationship with the University. Protect historic black neighborhoods and communities.

What is the biggest challenge Clemson is currently facing?

I believe the dominant theme is the relationship and attitude of the residents of the city towards the University. If we can get the University to listen and work with us, residents will love living in a college town again. Traffic, housing and people will all be positively affected by a more cooperative relationship.

Why should people vote for you?

I am young and represent a growing demographic at Clemson: post-grad but pre-retirement. The city must serve ALL, including young families and singles. I have new ideas and am not afraid to say what I think is needed, and I will listen to residents in order to serve Clemson.

John Fulmer, retired

Resident since 2015







John Fulmer, Candidate for Clemson City Council

John Fulmer, candidate for Clemson City Council. Provided




What 3 things would you like to accomplish as a board member?

Clemson Next and UpTown, Traffic and Transportation, and Roads and Infrastructure.

What is the biggest challenge Clemson is currently facing?

Traffic and transport are linked. Much of the traffic is transient and not necessarily the result of students and residents. However, traffic on 93 and College Avenue is more related to students and faculty. Accordingly, we should consider extending the CATBus and also increasing the frequency to encourage more students and residents to use it. Cycling and walking should also be encouraged.

Why should people vote for you?

My work on the Council is not finished. After 18 months of service, I would like to serve another term. There are a number of things happening in the city that I would like to see completed. The most pressing would be traffic and transportation issues. In the long term, most important for the future of Clemson will be the development of the UpTown part of ClemsonNext. A change in Council direction could affect this vital project.

Adam Jones, President of HMC Builders

Resident since 1998







Adam Jones, Candidate for Clemson City Council.png

Adam Jones, candidate for Clemson City Council. Provided




What 3 things would you like to accomplish as a board member?

City staffing, implementing traffic solutions, building a relationship with the University

What is the biggest challenge Clemson is currently facing?

Growth. The main issue Clemson will have to tackle is growth. As the upstate region grows, we will also expand into the city of Clemson. There will be many issues to address, including traffic, infrastructure, and housing affordability. Along with the growth in the number of permanent residents in Clemson and all the necessary services and businesses that will come with it.

Why should people vote for you?

I’ve run a local business here for over 20 years and have a good working knowledge of how all stakeholders and government work together. My role would be to navigate and implement a path forward for Clemson, using common sense and a willingness to work with everyone. I don’t have a personal agenda that I’m trying to accomplish, which allows me to work on orientation policy in a Clemson that’s moving forward for everyone.

Alesia Smith, college administrator

Resident since 1996







Alesia Smith, Candidate for Clemson City Council.jpg

Alesia Smith, candidate for Clemson City Council. Provided




What 3 things would you like to accomplish as a board member?

1. Secure a lead developer for the Uptown project, 2. Identify strategies to address traffic issues, and 3. Completion of vital projects

What is the biggest challenge Clemson is currently facing?

Clemson has experienced significant growth and development over the past few years, which is exciting and rewarding, but can also be very challenging. It stimulates the economy, improves the quality of life and helps our businesses. However, we are also experiencing inadequate housing for permanent residents and traffic problems. Thus, we must identify strategies to solve these major problems.

Why should people vote for you?

I believe residents should vote for me because I appreciate the unique, diverse and caring culture of our community. Their voices are so important and I will continue to work to ensure residents are heard. As an elected official, I have a huge responsibility to ensure that every decision I make is for the good of our community. I believe I did this during my first term and will continue to do so if re-elected.

Margaret J Thompson, retired deputy sheriff

Resident since 1979







Margaret Thompson, Candidate for Clemson City Council.jpg

Margaret Thompson, candidate for Clemson City Council. Provided




What 3 things would you like to accomplish as a board member?

Traffic solutions, infrastructure improvement, tax reduction

What is the biggest challenge Clemson is currently facing?

One of the biggest challenges initially is traffic and finding a workable solution. Update the infrastructure and do it. We need to stop talking about this and start fixing the problem. Since this seems to be a constant complaint, are citizens willing to pay for it. Both of these issues cost money.

Why should people vote for you?

Because I consider myself a “blue collar” and that is currently missing from the city council. We have 4 academics and 3 bankers. We have to give a different point of view because our thought process is different. It’s time to stop talking and start doing. And it’s going to take money and are the taxpayers ready for that.

Where to Vote for the Clemson City Council Election

There are eight polling places for Clemson voters in Pickens County on Election Day as well as one in Anderson County:

  • University Baptist Church at 411 Pendleton Road, Clemson,
  • University Lutheran Church at 111 Sloan Street, Clemson
  • East Clemson Baptist Church at 230 Frontage Road, Clemson
  • Abel Baptist Church at 150 Abel Road, Clemson
  • Crosspoint Church at 1019 Tiger Blvd, Clemson
  • Clemson Downs at 150 Downs Blvd., Clemson
  • Clemson Elementary at 581 Berkeley Drive, Clemson
  • Central-Clemson Library at 105 Commons Way, Central
  • Refuge Baptist Church at 219 Refuge Church Road, Central

Voters can check their polling place and see a sample ballot at scvotes.org.


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