The race for the Union County Council District 2 seat is a step closer to being contested in the November general election.
Ralph Tucker announced Monday that he has collected the signatures of more that 250 registered voters in District 2 in his bid to run for the council seat in the November general election as a petition candidate. He said he was on his way to turn the signatures in to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office for review and verification. If the signatures on Tucker’s petition are confirmed by the Voter Registrar’s Office, Tucker’s name will be placed on the November ballot in District 2.
“I would like to thank everyone for helping me get the petitions,” Tucker said. “I also want to thank all those who signed the petitions.”
Tucker was one of three candidates running for the Democratic nomination in District 2 when a decision by the State Supreme Court forced the party to remove them from the ballot. The court ruled that candidates must provide their party with a paper copy of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether it had been filed electronically. The court’s decision resulted in hundreds of candidates across South Carolina being removed from the ballot by their respective parties.
Of the 17 candidates running in the primary and/or the general election in Union County, 10 were removed by the Democratic and Republican parties as a result of the court’s decision. In District 2, the removal of Tucker and fellow Democrats Curtiss Hunter and Frank Hart not only left the June Democratic primary without candidates, but the November general election as well because there are no Republicans running for the seat.
Since then, however, seven of the 10 candidates removed from the ballot have announced plans to run petition candidacies in November. To do that, a candidate must collect the signatures of 5 percent of the registered voters in their district. Tucker and Hunter are the only candidates to date to have done so.
The other candidates to announce plans to run petition candidacies include William Jolly who is running for Union County Sheriff; Melanie Lawson who is running for Union Count Clerk of Court; and Crystal Coffer who is running for the Union County Council District District 3. Republicans Ronda Adams-Palmer, who is running for the District 3 seat, and Marshall Adams, who is running for sheriff, have also announced their intention to run petition candidacies.
Hart, Democrat Ray Treadway, who was running in Union County Council District 6, and Republican Randall English, who was running in SC House District 42, have not announced whether or not they will run as petition candidates.
Of the seven candidates that remained on the ballot after the court’s decision, six are incumbents including SC House District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony, Sheriff David Taylor, District 3 Councilman Tommy Ford, District 5 Councilman Randall “Chump” Hanvey, District 6 Council member Kacie Petrie, all Democrats, and Clerk of Court Freddie Gault, a Republican. The seventh candidate was former school board member John Rampey who was challenging Hanvey for the Democratic nomination in District 5. Hanvey defeated Rampey in the June 12 primary.
Persons wanting to run as a petition candidate must turn in their petitions to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office by noon July 16. For more information call 429-1616.