UNION — Two Democrats and two petition candidates were reelected or elected to Union County Council on Tuesday.
In May, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that all candidates must provide their parties with paper copies of their statements of economic interest even if they had been filed electronically. The court’s decision resulted in the removal of hundreds of candidates across the state from the June 12 primary and Tuesday’s general election ballots. The candidates removed from the ballot included 10 of the 17 candidates running in Union County.
The candidates removed from the ballot in Union County included six who were running as Democrats for county council and a seventh who was running as a Republican. While they could not run as Democrats or Republicans, the candidates could get back on the general election ballots by mounting petition candidacies. This allowed them to run for county council though without party affiliation.
The race for the District 2 seat on council was the most crowded with four candidates running to succeed the late Dora Martin-Jennings.
Curtiss Hunter, Frank Hart and Ralph Tucker were running as Democrats when they were removed from the ballot by the State Supreme Court. They returned to the ballot as petition candidates while a fourth candidate, Clay Palmer, joined he race as petition candidate as well.
On Tuesday, Hart emerged the winner with 791 votes to 533 for Hunter, 576 for Tucker, and 216 for Palmer.
“I just want to thank all the folks that turned out and supported me,” Hart said. “I want to thank Curtiss Hunter, Clay Palmer and Ralph Tucker for running a clean race. All of us got together before the election and agreed that no matter who won we’d work together. I look forward to working with them to try and move Union County forward.”
Hunter said: “I’ve spoken to Mr. Hart and congratulated him on the race. There’s still a lot of work to be done and I’m going to remain involved.”
Palmer said: “I want to congratulate Frank Hart for winning. I feel our district has elected someone who will do a good job for the district. I also want thank everyone who vote for me.”
In District 3, incumbent councilman Tommy Ford’s bid for a third term was being challenged in the Democratic primary by Chrystal Coffer and in the general election by Republican Ronda Adams-Palmer when the State Supreme Court’s decision forced Coffer and Adams-Palmer off the ballot.
Coffer and Adams-Palmer returned to the ballot as petition candidates to face Ford in Tuesday’s general election.
Voters in District 3 reelected Ford with 1,208 votes to 442 for Coffer and 359 for Adams-Palmer.
“I conceded about 9 or 9:15 to Tommy,” Adams-Palmer said Tuesday night. “I said I would be praying for him and all the elected officials as we have some tough days ahead of us.”
Ford said he will work just as hard for the good of the county in his third term as he did during the previous two.
“I’d like to thank all the people for coming out and voting,” Ford said. “I’m going to work as hard these next four year as I have the last eight. I think Union is headed in the right direction and I will always be available for your opinions and concerns. Thank you.”
Though he faced opposition in the Democratic primary, District 5 councilman Randall “Chump” Hanvey’s bid for a third term was unopposed in Tuesday’s general election.
The primary for the District 6 Democratic nomination was a contest between incumbent council member Kacie Petrie and challenger Ray Treadway until the State Supreme Court removed Treadway from the ballot. As with the other candidates removed from the ballot, Treadway was able to mount a petition candidacy and regain the opportunity to oppose Petrie’s bid for a second term.
Petrie, however, carried the day Tuesday, receiving 1,439 votes to Treadway’s 515.
“I would just like to thank those who came out and allowed me a second term to serve,” Petrie said. “I look forward to the next four years.”