SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — In a quirky race, Mayor Carl Smith could win a third term today as a write-in contender against Mayor Pro Tem Mike Perkis, the only candidate officially registered for the office.
At first, it seemed Perkis would have no challenger because Smith said he would not seek re-election. Then, Smith changed his mind because no one had come forward to challenge Perkis.
“I have been amazed, impressed, thankful and encouraged by the outpouring of grassroots support that I have received,” Smith said. “I will be grateful for every vote.”
Perkis, a two-term councilman, said he faced a “shadow opponent” in Smith because of the initial uncertainty about his candidacy. Perkis said residents appreciate his work to preserve the quality of life on Sullivan’s.
“I will bring positive leadership as this community moves forward,” he said.
In addition to the mayor’s race, three council seats are 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 St. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be separate check-in lines for the town election and the congressional election.
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 placed the school referendum issue on the agenda for a special council meeting Monday night. Council took no action on the issue.
Perkis said Smith’s election eve move to put the much- discussed issue on the agenda was a last-minute attempt to revive his campaign and derail plans for the school, set to open in August 2014.
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