Residents of Charleston County Council’s District 6 must decide between a Democratic incumbent, who touts a lifetime of public service, and a petition candidate who heralds her success in the business world.

Carolyn Hughes

Age: 63Family: Husband, Billy Hughes; two children; four stepchildren; two grandchildren; six stepgrandchildrenParty: Petition candidateOccupation: Real estate sales brokerEducation: R.N., Trident Technical College; certified broker certificate, Palmer Business CollegePrevious elected office: NoneWhy are you running? Because County Council needs a member who is a business person, someone who can deal with the everyday business of the people. She also thinks council needs to better listen to constituents, and that’s something she is willing and able to do. What is the biggest issue facing county residents? The completion of Interstate 526, which she supports.Contact information: 224-7700,

Vic Rawl, a Democrat who has held the seat since 2008, and petition candidate Carolyn Hughes differ more on who they are and their perspective than where they stand on important issues.

Vic Rawl

Age: 66Family: Wife, Laura Rawl; son, Vic Jr.Party: DemocratOccupation: Retired circuit court judgeEducation: Law degree, USC; bachelor of science, College of CharlestonPrevious elected office: Charleston County Council, 2008 to present; S.C. House of Representatives, 1977-78 and 1980-86Why are you running? To complete the projects on County Council that are important to Charleston County: the solid waste program, consolidation of services, transportation and senior services.What is the biggest issue facing county residents? The quality of life in Charleston County, including the completion of Interstate 526, which he supports.Contact information: 766-7334,,

Hughes originally filed to run as a Republican but was disqualified from the ballot in June, along with five other GOP candidates who failed to file a paper copy of a statement of economic interest in time.

Both candidates said there are no big issues specific to District 6, which encompasses parts of North Charleston, West Ashley and the largely rural southwest part of the county.

But there are important countywide issues, the most pressing of which is the completion of Interstate 526 across Johns and James islands. Both candidates support the controversial project. And both of them said they think the majority of the residents of District 6 also support it.

The road is needed, “The people are here. The traffic is here,” Hughes said.

“The idea that Johns Island is rural or can remain rural is simply wishful thinking,” Rawl said.

Hughes said she also supports, in a general way, improving and increasing infrastructure that supports growth. The area is growing, she said, so it’s better that it grow in a controlled, planned and smart way.

She also supports streamlining government services, especially those that affect small businesses. Hughes, a real estate broker, said many small business people now have to get numerous permits before they can move ahead with simple projects. She thinks processes could be improved to save business owners time and money.

She also said she thinks she would listen to her constituents better than her opponent has over the past four years.

Rawl said he also supports infrastructure improvements, as well as a consolidation of public services to increase efficiency and lower the cost.

And he would like to have another four years on the job, for which he accepts no stipends, to see through some important initiatives such as the comprehensive overhaul in the way the county handles solid waste, and the improvement of services for senior citizens.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.