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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Wofford student serves as South Carolina’s youngest elected official

Wofford+student+serves+as+South+Carolina%E2%80%99s+youngest+elected+official

By: Sarah Madden, Senior Writer

Junior Phillip Habib, at age 20, is now the youngest elected South Carolina official after winning in landslide for the position of Berkeley County Soil and Water Commissioner. Habib is an economics major with an environmental studies minor and says that he got the idea to run for commissioner when filling out his absentee ballot.

“I noticed that there were no filed candidates for the office. Since I’ve worked with the Soil and Water District in the past and have a strong desire to serve my community, my interest was sparked,” says Habib. “I then called a current member of the district who gave me [more information] and stressed the importance and need for strong leadership as commissioner. Knowing I could bring passion, energy, work, ethic and ingenuity to the district, I decided to run.”

Habib then worked through social media and his supporters to pull off a write-in victory in roughly five days. “While I initialized the effort, my supporters did the heavy-lifting in getting the word out and were crucial to the victory,” he says. “I also used Facebook to share my vision and to ensure folks knew the process of a write-in campaign. I must admit that I was amazed at how well people responded on social media.”

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Habib got 463 write-in votes during the general election on Nov. 8. His next closest opponent, Charles Glover, received 148 votes.

Habib says his new job includes providing leadership for establishing policy and programs that help conserve and protect the natural resources in Berkeley County, and that he’ll be able to serve from Spartanburg: “During the school year, most of my service will be through work remotely and online… I have already begun the process of scheduling my classes next semester to ensure I have the ability to attend the district’s monthly meeting.”

Ultimately, Habib says his previous experience working with Berkeley County’s Economic Development Office has inspired him to become an entrepreneur. He hadn’t dreamed of holding office even weeks before he was elected. He says, “While I am focused on doing all that I can to serve our community as commissioner, I certainly would never limit the possibility of being able to serve our community in another role in the future.”

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