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Heaberlin appointed to commission

Lawrence County has a new commissioner.

The county’s Democratic faithful Thursday night chose 26-year-old Rock Hill High School teacher Tanner Heaberlin to fill the seat left vacant by the death of George Patterson on July 30.

Eric Bradshaw, deputy director of the Lawrence County Democratic Party said Heaberlin was one of two finalists for the post — former sheriff Roy Smith was the other — and the vote to appoint the youthful Heaberlin was unanimous.

“We had some good picks but this is the wave of the future and I think he’s going to be strong from here.”

Heaberlin said he was pleased to accept the appointment.

“I’ve got some big shoes to fill, I know that,” Heaberlin said of Patterson. “I’m thankful to the committee for putting me in this position.”

Heaberlin was sworn in Friday morning, surrounded by freshmen students from his World History class.

He told them he would try “to be the best commissioner I can be and the best teacher I can be.”

While his students surrounded him on stage at the high school cafetorium, other students sat watching from seats a few feet away and other stood on the balcony overhead.

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham presided over the short ceremony, with Lawrence County Commissioner Doug Malone holding The Bible.

The new commissioner’s mother, Tami Tordiff attended the swearing in ceremony.

“He’s always been interested in politics as long as I can remember,” she said. “And he has a real heart for the community. I’m very proud of him.”

Heaberlin and his wife, Becky, have two children.