Rev. Dr. Ben Gafford, at right, administers the oath of office Friday to Raymond Newton for the District 5 seat on Georgetown County Council. Robin Newton holds a family Bible that belonged to Newton’s grandfather.

Placing his right hand on his daddy’s Bible, Raymond Newton took the oath of office Friday, Sept. 13 as the new Georgetown County Councilman for District 5.

Newton won a special election on Tuesday, Sept. 10. He succeeded Austin Beard who resigned after the Georgetown County Board of Voter Registration and Elections determined that Beard did not reside in the district and was therefore not a qualified voter.

Council Chairman John Thomas welcomed people to County Council Chambers for the brief oath-taking ceremony. Rev. Dr. Ben Gafford, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Andrews, administered the oath as his wife Robin held the Bible.

She later told the Georgetown Times that the Bible had belonged to Newton’s grandfather, R.E. Lamb. “He was a mounted cop in Charleston, and also a pastor in Charleston,” she said.

Along with Thomas, other Council members present for the swearing-in ceremony included Louis Morant, Ron Charlton and Everett Carolina.

“I am so ready for it to get over with,” Newton said to the Georgetown Times. He said he kept track of his mileage since he filed for the special election in late May. “I’ve driven close to 3,000 miles and very few have been personal.” .

District 5 runs from about two miles west of Georgetown along U.S. Highway 521/17A on to Andrews. It includes part of the Town of Andrews and follows the county line along its border with Williamsburg County and Marion County.

Newton and his wife Robin have two children and three grandchildren. Newton has called Andrews home for 60 years and traces his Andrews lineage all the way back to his great-grandparents. Newton owned his own business for 22 years and is retiring from the United Parcel Service. He graduated from Andrews High School and Coastal Carolina University. He is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church.

When County Council next meets on Tuesday, Sept. 24 it will be the first time since May that there will be seven members.