It went from having three candidates to having none, then to one and then two, and now the voters in Union County Council District 3 once again have three candidates to choose from.
The district lost all three of the candidates for its council seat in May when 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 been filed electronically. The court’s decision forced the Democratic and Republican parties to remove hundreds of candidates across South Carolina from the June 12 primary and the Nov. 6 general election ballots. In Union County, the number of candidates running in either the primary and/or the general election fell from 17 to 10 as a result of the court’s ruling.
District 3 was the hardest hit in Union County, with all three candidates running for the Democratic nomination removed from the ballot. No Republican was running for the seat and so the district was left without any candidates to choose from
Since then, however, the three individuals who were running for the Democratic nomination have sought to run as a petition candidate in November. To do so, a candidate must collect the signatures of five percent of the registered voters in their district and then turn their petitions in to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office for certification. If the signatures are certified, the candidate’s name is placed on the November ballot.
The latest candidate in District 3 to do so is Frank Hart who collected the signatures of more than 240 registered voters in his district and turned them in to the Voter Registrar’s officer earlier this month. Voter Registrar Darlene Pettit said Monday that she has certified Hart’s petition and therefore his name will be on the ballot in District 3 in November.
Hart is the third of the three candidates removed from the primary ballot to gain a slot on the general election ballot in District 3 as a petition candidate. Curtiss Hunter and Ralph Tucker were, respectively, the first and second candidates to return to the ballot in District 3.
Six of the seven other candidates who were removed from the ballot in November also launched petition drives to gain a spot on the November ballot. They include Democrats William Jolly, Crystal Coffer, Melanie Lawson, and Ray Treadway and Republicans Marshall Adams and Ronda Adams-Palmer.When they were removed from the ballot, Jolly and Adams were running for Union County Sheriff while Coffer and Adams-Palmer were running for the Union County Council District 3 seat. Lawson was running for Union County Clerk of Court while Treadway was running for the Union County Council District 6 seat.
The seventh candidate, Randall English, a Republican, declined to seek to run as a petition candidate in November for the SC House District 42 seat held by Rep. Mike Anthony, a Democrat.
Jolly, who served as sheriff from 1981-1993, collected the signatures of more than 1,100 registered voters in his bid to gain a spot on the November ballot. His petition of candidacy was certified earlier this month and he is once again running for his old job against incumbent Sheriff David Taylor, a Democrat.
Pettit said Monday she is still in the process of certifying Adams’ petition of candidacy.