Another of the three Democrats whose removal from the ballot in Union County Council District 2 left the district without any candidates for the office has announced his intention to run as a petition candidate in November.
Last week, the State Supreme Court ruled that candidates for public office must provide their party with a paper copy of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether it had already been filed electronically. As a result of that decision, hundreds of Democrat and Republican candidates running in the June 12 primaries and/or the November general election were removed from the ballot by their respective parties. This included nine of the 17 candidates running in Union County.
Among the candidates removed from the ballot in Union County were the three running for the Democratic nomination for the Union County Council District 2 seat. With no Republicans running, the removal of the three Democrats left the district without any candidates for the seat.
The only option available to these and the other candidates removed from the ballot in their respective races is to run as a petition candidate in November. To quality as petition candidate, a person must collect the signatures of 5 percent of the registered voters in their district.
Ralph Tucker announced Tuesday that he will run as a petition candidate. Tucker is one of the three Democrats removed from the ballot in District 2. He said Tuesday that he is in the process of collecting signatures to have his name placed on the ballot for the District 2 seat in November.
Tucker is the second District 2 candidate and the fourth Democrat to announce a petition candidacy. Curtiss Hunter, who was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination in District 2, announced Monday that she is already collecting signatures to have her name placed on the ballot for the District 2 council seat.
Hunter was one of three Democrats to announce petition candidacies during a Monday afternoon press conference at the headquarters of the Union County Democratic Party. Also announcing plans to run petition candidates were Union County Clerk of Court candidate Melanie Lawson and Union County Sheriff candidate William Jolly.
The three other Democrats — Frank Hart (Union County Council District 2), Crystal Coffer (Union County Council District 3) and Ray Treadway (Union County Council District 6) — removed from the ballot by the party because of the court’s decision have not announced their plans.
Of the nine candidates removed from the ballot in Union County, two were Republicans.
Union County Sheriff Candidate Marshall Adams and Union County Council District 3 candidate Ronda Adams-Palmer were removed from the ballot by the Republican Party. In announcing they’d been removed from the ballot, Union County Republican Party Chairman Mike Fowler said that Adams-Palmer had informed him that she was already in the process of gathering signatures for a petition candidacy.
Still On The Ballot
The eight candidates that were not removed from the ballot include six Democrats and two Republicans. All but two of the candidates remaining on the ballot are incumbents.
Democrats still on the primary and/or general election ballot include SC House District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony, Union County Sheriff David Taylor, District 3 Union County Councilman Tommy Ford, District 5 Union County Councilman Randall “Chump” Hanvey, and District 6 Union County Council member Kacie Petrie. The sole challenger on the Democratic side is John Rampey who is running for the party’s nomination in District 5.
Republicans still on the ballot include Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault and District 42 challenger Randall English.
No Longer A Democrat
Another result of the court’s ruling was the decision by Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair to leave the Democratic Party and declare his political affiliation to be “non-party based.” In addition to leaving the party, Sinclair called for county government to be selected on a nonpartisan basis to avoid a repeat of the problems caused by the court’s decision and ensure greater accountability by candidates and county officials to the voters.