10 candidates campaign for 4 Sullivan’s Council seats

Sullivan’s Island, known for its iconic lighthouse, will have an election on May 5 to fill a majority of the seats on Town Council. There are 10 candidates for four Council seats.

Sullivan’s Island, which recently had a hotly-contested mayor’s race, now looks toward a new election on May 5 to fill a majority of the seats on Town Council.

There are plenty of contenders. Ten candidates have filed for four Council vacancies. Three of the seats are for four-year terms. The fourth is for the unexpired two-year-term of former Councilman Pat O’Neil, who was elected mayor in January.

O’Neil will serve as mayor until May of 2017. He fills the unexpired term of the late Mike Perkis who died on Oct. 7 of pancreatic cancer.

Competing for four-year Council terms are Jennifer Holland, Mark Howard, Jerry Kaynard, Rita Langley, Bachman Smith IV, David Spurgin and Mary Jane Watson. Kaynard and Watson are incumbents. Council member Hartley Cooper is not seeking re-election. Kaynard was a candidate in the recent mayoral race.

Contenders for the remainder of O’Neil’s term are Sarah Church, Spurgin and Paul Boehm, according to the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

In addition to the mayor, Sullivan’s has five Council members.

Qualified candidates pay a filing fee and present a petition bearing signatures of 5 percent of the registered voters on the island. They also file a statement of economic interest.

The county Board of Elections is in the process of verifying the signatures on the petitions, a spokesman said.

The island has 1,595 registered voters.

The filing period for candidates closed on Feb. 18. The last day to register to vote in the election is April 5.

Absentee ballots may be requested and mailed from the Board of Elections. Voting will happen at Sunrise Presbyterian Church from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. If needed, a run-off election will be held two weeks later.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711