SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — In a quirky race for mayor, incumbent Carl Smith could win a third term Tuesday as a write-in contender against Mayor Pro Tem Mike Perkis, the only candidate registered for the office.
At first, it seemed Perkis would have no competition because Smith said he would not seek re-election. Then, Smith changed his stance and said he was willing to be drafted for the mayor’s race because no one else had come forward to challenge Perkis.
Now, the island is awash with campaign signs for mayor as an election that wasn’t has become a contest.
As mayor, Smith cast the lone dissenting vote when Town Council OK’d a lease with the Charleston County School District for a new, much bigger elementary school. He supports having a public referendum on the size of the new 74,000-square-foot school, an issue that is winding its way through the courts. A judge recently declined to toss out a suit against the town brought by two islanders seeking the referendum.
Smith has placed the school referendum issue on the agenda for a special Council meeting today at 6 p.m.
“I really don’t expect Council to redeem themselves and schedule a referendum. They have buried themselves too deep for that,” he said.
Perkis, a two-term councilman, said the election eve move to put the much-discussed school issue on the agenda for the special Council meeting today is a last-minute attempt by Smith to revive his campaign and de-rail plans for the school.
“He is trying to get media coverage for something that has been reviewed and answered by Council more times than I can remember,” Perkis said.
The new school is scheduled to open in August of 2014.
In addition to the mayor’s race, three council seats up for grabs. The four candidates on the ballot are Chauncey Clark, Bill Matthews, Susan Middaugh and incumbent Councilman Patrick O’Neil.
The polling place is Sunrise Presbyterian Church at 3222 Middle Street. Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There will be separate check-in lines for the town election and the Congressional election.