Nancy Gay has been promoted to become Columbia County’s elections director, succeeding the retired Deborah Marshall.
In addition, the Columbia County Development Authority plans to hire Robert F. Bennett as that agency’s new director.
The Board of Elections named Gay, 41, formerly the county’s voter registration coordinator, to the post Monday morning, said board Chairman Larry Long.
“We recognized excellent performance and increased responsibilities” in promoting Gay, Long said. “We’re looking forward to moving forward smoothly.”
He acknowledged that the board originally offered the position to another candidate who ultimately turned down the job.
Gay’s pay will increase from “about $40,000,” Long said, to the base pay for the director’s position at $53,717.
“It is a true honor to be given the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” said Gay. “I am a bit speechless, to be honest.”
Gay has been a county employee for 13 years. Gay’s former position is being filled by Staci Landers, the registration/elections clerk, and Landers’ position will be posted for hiring.
Marshall, the previous elections director, retired in December. She had been on medical leave since surgery in April for a malignant brain tumor.
At the Development Authority, Bennett, 34, will replace Troy Post, whose contract as director expired in December and was not renewed. Bennett is expected to start March 18, said Doug Duncan, the chairman of the search committee for the Development Authority’s executive board.
“In recruiting, it’s rare to find a candidate with the exact experience you’re looking for and have strong local knowledge,” Duncan said. “Robbie Bennett is that candidate.”
Bennett currently is a project manager with the Development Authority of Richmond County.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to be considered for this position,” Bennett said. “Columbia County is a great community, and it has such a great potential.”
An Augusta resident, Bennett is a graduate of Silver Bluff High School and holds an undergraduate degree from Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., and masters degrees from the University of South Carolina and Augusta State University.