The help of her family and friends and the willingness of more than 1,500 people to sign her petition has brought Melanie Lawson another step closer to once again being a candidate for Union County Clerk of Court.
When the State Supreme Court ruled in May that candidates for public office must provide their parties with a paper copy of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether it had been filed electronically, it resulted in hundreds of candidates across South Carolina being removed the June 12 primary and Nov. 6 general election ballots. Those removed included 10 of the 17 candidates running in Union County, among them Lawson who was unopposed in her bid to be the Democratic Party’s clerk of court nominee.
Shortly after she was removed from the ballot, Lawson announced that she would run for clerk of court as a petition candidate in November. To do that, Lawson had to collect the signatures of five percent of the registered voters in Union County and that’s just what she did with the assistance of family and friends who she said helped her despite the weather.
“I’ve got 131 pages with 1,563 signatures that I’ve counted,” Lawson said earlier this week. “I want to thank my family and friends for all their help and support. There were 16 of us and we got out there on long, hot days and some late nights. Most of all, I want to thank the people of Union County. If it wasn’t for their willingness to sign the petitions this would not have been possible.”
Lawson has since turned her petition in to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office for review and certification. If the signatures on her petition are certified, Lawson’s name will be placed on the November ballot as a petition candidate. Currently, incumbent Clerk of Court Freddie Gault is the only candidate on the November ballot.
Of the 10 candidates removed from the ballot in May, three have returned through the petition process including Curtiss Hunter and Ralph Tucker in Union County Council District 2 and William Jolly who is running for Union County Sheriff. In addition to Lawson, those still going through the petition process include Frank Hart in Union County Council District 2, Ronda Adams-Palmer and Crystal Coffer in Union County Council District 3, and Marshall Adams who is running for sheriff.
When they were removed from the ballot, Hunter, Tucker, Jolly, Hart, and Coffer were running as Democrats while Adams-Palmer and Adams were running as Republicans.
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.