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SUMMERVILLE -- The election for the volatile District 7 seat on Dorchester County Council has gotten a little hotter. An independent candidate will be on the ballot challenging the Republican candidate.

Tim Patrick, 25, of the Wescott Plantation subdivision, will take on upset Republican primary victor Jay Byars in the November vote to represent Oakbrook area neighborhoods. Residents there have now ousted the council chairman two elections in a row, in an area where growth issues have dominated the debate.

Patrick, a systems analyst for Scientific Research Corp. and a former Navy cryptology technician, decided to run after the primary, in which Byars defeated Jamie Feltner, the sitting council chairman.

"It's important that someone get involved who doesn't have external factors influencing their decisions on council," Patrick said. "I want to give residents the choice to vote for someone who works for them, and just for them."

Byars, a mortgage company co-owner, defeated Feltner, an environmental engineer, in June with 56 percent of the vote. Feltner had won the seat four years earlier by four votes, upsetting Skip Elliott, the sitting chairman.

Patrick recently had 836 signatures verified on a petition to add him to the ballot. Election law requires 736 signatures for the district seat.