SC Politics

Keeping It ‘Walhalla’ In The Family

A single-family majority?

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Including the office of the mayor, there are seven seats on the city council of Walhalla, South Carolina – a town of approximately 4,000 people located on the Blue Ridge escarpment in the center of Oconee County.

Four of those seats – a majority – could wind up being held by members of the same family depending on the outcome of this fall’s municipal elections.

Currently serving on Walhalla city council is Grant Keehn, owner of Keen Care LLC. Established in 2021, this company is located at 706 N Poplar Street in Walhalla, S.C. – a.k.a. Keehn’s domicile. This address is also listed as a place of residence for three of Keehn’s children – who are seeking to join their father on city council in 2024.

(Click to View)

Abby Keehn (Facebook)

One of Keehn’s five daughters, Abigail “Abby” Keehn, previously filed her paperwork on July 31, 2023 to run in a special election for a vacated city council seat. She is running against former city mayor, councilman and former county probate judge Kenny Johns in a special election scheduled for November 7, 2023.

Yesterday, her brothers Jacob Keehn and Micah Keehn – two of Grant Keehn’s six sons – submitted their paperwork to run for city council as well. The brothers Keehn – who work as carpenters in their father’s business – were joined by a friend of the family, Sherri Campbell, who is running for mayor of Walhalla.

The so-called “save Walhalla” ticket is “all set and signed up to take on the establishment,” the family patriarch declared on social media. Channeling his inner Duggar, Keehn called the flood of familial filings a form of divine intervention.

(Click to View)

Micah Keehn, Sherri Campbell, Abby Keehn and Jacob Keehn, from left to right (Facebook)

“What does God do for you when you’re running for city council as an UNDERDOG?” Grant Keehn wrote on his Facebook page. “Why he gives you three OTHER underdogs to run with you! If we end up with three councilmen Keehn and one mayor Campbell, you’ll know that God is still working miracles in Walhalla!”

What does the “save Walhalla” ticket hope to accomplish?

According to candidate Jacob Keehn, the job begins with fixing the city’s finances – including balancing a budget that’s being propped up by federal bailout funds.

“The financial situation, I think, is pretty dire,” he told reporter Lauren Pierce of Upstate Today. “If things continue as they’ve happened, then Walhalla could be looking at bankruptcy.” 

The Keehns are campaigning to represent what they call the “common Walhallan.”

Assuming the family emerge triumphant at the polls this November, it could create some interesting new case law regarding open meetings. For example, would family dinners constitute a quorum of city council? Thus requiring advance public notice?

Filing for Walhalla’s city elections opened yesterday and runs through 12:00 p.m. EDT next Friday (August 25, 2023). We will keep tabs on this race as it will likely draw statewide attention sooner rather than later.

Founded in 1850 and designated as Oconee’s county seat in 1868, Walhalla is named after the Norse afterlife, Valhalla, as bestowed by its original Bavarian settlers. It is home to the current president of the S.C. Senate, Thomas Alexander.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...

Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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4 comments

Goody3 Top fan August 15, 2023 at 2:44 pm

ONLY in SC!!

Reply
Anon E Muss August 15, 2023 at 8:45 pm

I wouldn’t say the current mayor is the best, but knowing Mrs. Campbell’s track record – she would NOT be the wise choice

Reply
CongareeCatfish Top fan August 16, 2023 at 9:18 am

The public notice/quorum angle of this is going to make for some pretty interesting case law.

Reply
James phillips August 22, 2023 at 8:50 pm

This is a good article, keeping it Walhalla in the family .
This is not good.

Reply

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