Berkeley County voters chose a new leader in what could be their last-ever election of a supervisor.
With 97 percent of votes counted, current Hanahan City Administrator Johnny Cribb, a political newcomer, bested incumbent Bill Peagler by 62 percent to 38 percent in their Republican primary, unofficial results show.
However, a glitch in the voting system held up the reporting of some results, according to Elections Director Adam Hammons.
Countywide, 77 of 80 precincts had reported but officials were awaiting the arrival of a technician as of press time.
"I feel like I’ve been talking, talking, talking for six months, and I’m ready to do, do, do for the next four years," said Cribb, 45, who estimated he knocked on 3,500 doors countywide during the campaign.
There is no Democrat in the race.
Peagler, 63, a lawyer who served as mayor of Moncks Corner for nine years, had said he was running on his accomplishments during his one term in the supervisor's office, while Cribb emphasized planning for the future.
"Winning this thing isn’t the finish line," Cribb said Tuesday. "It’s been a lot of work just to get to the start line."
In November, voters will decide whether they want to continue being led by an elected, full-time supervisor or if they prefer to add a council member and have the county run by a hired administrator.
The county is one of only four statewide that is governed by an elected leader. The others — Chester, Union and Williamsburg — have a combined population of less than half of Berkeley’s approximately 220,000 residents.
Supervisors, who are elected by a countywide vote, also serve as the chair of County Council. Administrators are hired by the council and do not have a vote.
If the ballot measure is approved by voters, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
A similar referendum in 2008 was voted down by a 65-35 percent margin.
In the closest race of the night, less than 1 percent separated House District 100 incumbent Sylleste Davis from her Republican challenger Tom Fernandez, with all of the precincts reporting.
In other GOP house primary races, District 117 incumbent Bill Crosby bested challenger Jordan Scott Page, 54 percent to 46 percent, with all votes counted, and District 15 incumbent Samuel Rivers was leading Steven Smith, who also ran against him in 2016, 74 percent to 26 percent with 90 percent of the precincts reporting.
In the only contested Berkeley County Council race, current Goose Creek City Councilman Brandon Cox had 71 percent of the vote to Ralph Rohrssen's 29 percent for the District 5 seat, with all precincts reporting. Incumbent Dennis Fish did not seek re-election.
Leah Guerry Dupree took the majority in the Clerk of Court race over Annette Harmon Bianchi, 57 percent to 43 percent, with 97 percent of the votes counted. Mary Brown, who served for 36 years, did not seek re-election.