After a decision by the State Supreme Court left them without any candidates to choose from in the June 12 Democratic primary, the people of Union County Council District 2 now have two for the November general election.
Ralph Tucker was one of three candidates who were removed from the District 2 primary ballot by the Democratic Party in May in response to a ruling by the State Supreme Court that all candidates must provide their parties with paper copies of their statement of economic interest even if had been filed electronically. The court’s decision resulted in the removal of hundreds of candidates across the state from the June 12 primary and November 6 general election ballots, among them 10 of the 17 candidates running in Union County. The court’s decision hit District 2 the hardest with the removal of Tucker and the two other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination leaving the district without any candidates since no Republicans are running for the council seat.
For the individuals whose candidacies through the Democratic or Republican parties were cut short by the court’s decision the only option is to run as a petition candidate in November. This required the collecting of the signatures of five percent of the registered voters in their respective districts on a petition of candidacy which must then be turned in to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office for review and certification. If the signatures on the petition are certified by the Voter Registrar the candidate’s name is placed on the November ballot in their district.
Earlier this week, Tucker became the second candidate in Union County to win a spot on the November ballot through the petition candidacy process when his petition was certified by the Voter Registrar. Tucker, who collected the signatures of more than 250 registered voters in District 2, thanked those who helped him in his bid to resume his candidacy. He also spoke about what he hopes to accomplish if elected to council.
“I would like to thank the people that helped me get on the ballot,” Tucker said. “I’m looking forward to being on the ballot in the Nov. 6 general election for Union County Council District 2.
“If I’m elected I will work with other council members to try and help the people of Union County,” he said. “I would also like to work with other agencies in the county that’s trying to improve Union and bring industries into the county.”
Tucker is the second candidate for the District 2 seat to gain a spot on the November ballot. In June, Curtiss Hunter’s petition of candidacy was certified, making her the first candidate in the district to qualify to run for the seat as a petition candidate.
While Tucker and Hunter are currently the only candidates removed from the ballot to complete petition process and return to the ballot, five others had announced plans to run as a petition candidate and/or collect and turn in a petition of candidacy. They include Frank Hart who was the third candidate removed from the ballot in District 2 as a result of the court’s decision. Hart announced last week that he’d collected the signatures of more than 240 registered voters in District 2 and was planning to turn them in to the Voter Registrar for certification.
Also seeking to return to the ballot as petition candidates are Democrat William Jolly and Republican Marshal Adams who are running for Union County Sheriff; Democrat Melanie Lawson who is running Union County Clerk of Court; and Democrat Crystal Adams and Republican Ronda Adams-Palmer who are running in Union County Council District 3.
Persons wanting to run as a petition candidate must turn in their petition of candidacy to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office by noon July 16. For more information call 429-1616.