She was removed from the June 12 Democratic primary because of a decision by the State Supreme Court, but with the help of some of the voters in her district, Curtiss Hunter will be a candidate for the Union County Council District 2 seat in the November general election.
In May, the State Supreme Court ruled that candidates for public office must provide their parties with paper copies of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether it had been filed locally. The court’s decision forced the Democratic and Republican parties to remove hundreds of candidate from the June 12 primary and the November 6 general election ballots. Those removed included 10 of the 17 candidates running in Union County, among them Hunter, Ralph Tucker and Frank Hart, all of whom were seeking the Democratic nomination in District 2. No Republicans are running for the District 2 council seat, and with the removal of Hunter, Tucker, and Hart, the district was left without any candidates for either the June primary and/or the November general election.
The only option for candidates removed from the ballot is to run as a petition candidate. To do so, requires collecting the signatures of 5 percent of the registered voters in the candidate’s district and submitting them to the Union County Voter Registrar for certification. Seven of the 10 candidates removed from the ballot as a result of the court’s decision have since announced their intentions to do so, among them Hunter who in May collected the signatures of 286 of the registered voters in her district and turned them in to the registrar.
On Tuesday, Voter Registrar Darlene Pettit announced that she had certified the signatures submitted by Hunter on June 13. Pettit said that Hunter’s name will be placed on the November ballot in District 2 as a petition candidate. She said that, as of Tuesday, Hunter is the only person to complete the petition candidacy process and be certified to run in November.
Hunter welcomed the news that she’d successfully completed the petition process and thanked the people of District 2 for supporting her in her effort to get back on the ballot. Though the court’s decision prevented her from running in the Democratic primary and running as the party’s nominee in November, Hunter said she used the petition candidacy process as an opportunity to get to know her district and the concerns of its residents.
“I turned it into a positive,” Hunter said. “I went to each area of the district. I live in Santuc, but I wanted to hear the concerns of people throughout the district. I went to Carlisle, Black Rock, West Springs, and Cross Keys. This is the largest district in terms of mileage, but I wanted to make sure I heard the concerns from as many people as possible from throughout the district.
“I’m not running to make promises, I’m running to do the work,” she said. “I’m running to address the concerns of the constituents of the district and the county.”
Hunter said if elected she hopes to get a county recycling convenience center for the Black Rock community which she said “desperately needs one.” She said she would also like to see the old Sims Junior High School building put to new use.
“Something positive needs to happen with that,” Hunter said. “There is no sense in that building being left to just sit there.”
Hunter said one possibility would be using the school’s library as an annex for the Union County Museum. She said the museum has a number of artifacts currently in storage that, if there was sufficient space, could be placed on display. The old Sims library could provide that space.
Other Petition Candidacies
Though she is currently the only petition candidate on the November ballot, Hunter may soon have company.
Pettit said Wednesday that Tucker has turned in his candidate’s petition and that the certification process is underway and should be completed soon. She said that, as of Wednesday, Hunter and Tucker were the only candidates to have turned in their petitions.
They have not turned in their petitions yet, but five other candidates removed from the ballot as a result of the court’s decision have are also in the process of collecting signatures for a petition candidacy. They include William Jolly who is running for Union County Sheriff, Melanie Lawson who is running for Union County Clerk of Court, Crystal Coffer who is running for the Union County Council District 3 seat, Ronda Adams-Palmer who is also running for the District 3 seat, and Marshall Adams who is also running for sheriff. Jolly, Lawson and Coffer were running as Democrats when they were removed from the ballot while Adams-Palmer and Adams were running as Republicans.
If successful in their bids to run as petition candidates, Jolly and Adams will face Sheriff David Taylor in November while Lawson will face Clerk of Court Freddie Gault, and Coffer and Adams-Palmer will face Councilman Tommy Ford.
Hart and Union County Council District 6 candidate Ray Treadway and SC House District 42 candidate Randall English have not announced whether they will run petition candidacies. Like Hart, Treadway was running as a Democrat when he was removed from the ballot while English was running as a Republican.
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.