It took collecting more than 1,300 signatures to do it, but a Jonesville man is once again on the ballot as a candidate for Union County Sheriff.
At the beginning of May, the race for sheriff was one of only four races in Union County that was being contested not only on in the June 12 Democratic primary but in the Nov. 6 general election as well. Incumbent Sheriff David Taylor was being challenged by former sheriff William Jolly for the Democratic nomination and the winner of the primary would face Republican Marshall Adams in November.
That all changed later that month when the State Supreme Court ruled that candidates for public office must provide their parties with a paper copy of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether they’d already filed it electronically. The court’s decision forced the Democratic and Republican parties to remove hundreds of candidates across the state from the primary and general election ballots. In Union County, 10 of the 17 candidates running in the primary or general election were removed from the ballot including Jolly and Adams. Their removal left Taylor unopposed for the Democratic nomination and in November.
After they were removed from the ballot, both Jolly and Adams announced that they would seek to get on the November ballot as petition candidates. The petition candidacy process requires a potential candidate to collect the signatures of 5 percent of the registered voters in their district and then turn those in to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office for certification. If the signatures on the petition are certified, the candidate’s names is placed on the ballot.
On Wednesday, Union County Voter Registrar Darlene Pettit announced that Adams’ petition had been certified and that his name would be on the November ballot for sheriff. The announcement was welcomed by Adams who thanked his family and friends for their help in the petition process helping him collect a total of 1,339 signatures. He said he is looking forward to campaigning for sheriff.
“I’d like to thank my family and friends for helping me get the signatures, they helped out a lot, they done a lot for me,” Adams said Thursday morning. “I’m just glad to be on the ballot, it’s been a hard road to get there. I’m just glad to be there. I’m looking forward to running and trying to get to be sheriff of Union County.”
Adams’ certification brings to three the number of candidates now running for sheriff in the November general election. Taylor is on the ballot as the Democratic nominee and Jolly gained a spot on the ballot when his petition of candidacy was certified in July.
Partisan and Petition Candidates
Of the 17 candidates running at the beginning of November, 13 were Democrats and four were Republicans. After the State Supreme Court’s ruling, however, only six Democrats and one Republican remained, all but of one of them incumbents.
The Democrats remaining included Taylor, SC House District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony, Union County Council District 3 Councilman Tommy Ford, Union County Council District 5 Councilman Randall “Chump” Hanvey, and Union Council District 6 Council Member Kacie Petrie. The sixth Democrat and only non-incumbent remaining on the ballot in the wake of the court’s decision was former school board member John Rampey who was opposing Hanvey for the District 5 nomination. Hanvey defeated Rampey for the Democratic nomination in the June 12 primary. No Republicans are running in District 5.
The only Republican remaining on the ballot was Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault.
In addition to Jolly, the Democrats removed from the ballot included Melanie Lawson who was running for Clerk of Court, Chrystal Coffer who was challenging Ford for the District 3 nomination, and Ray Treadway who was challenging Petrie for the party’s nomination in District 6. In Union County Council District 2, all three of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination — Curtiss Hunter, Ralph Tucker, and Frank Hart — were removed from the ballot leaving the district without any candidates in the primary or in the general election as no Republicans were running.
In addition to Adams, the Republicans removed from the ballot included Randall English who was running against Anthony for the SC House District 42 seat and Ronda Adams-Palmer who was running in District 3.
Since then, all but three of the candidates — including Adams — removed from the ballot have been certified to run as petition candidates in November. Lawson is once again on the ballot for Clerk of Court while Adams-Palmer is again on the ballot in District 3. Hunter, Tucker, and Hart are all now on the November ballot as petition candidates in District 2. Coffer and Treadway are still going through the certification process while English declined to run as a petition candidate.