BY BO PETERSEN

SUMMERVILLE — A week after reaching the required number of signatures to run as a write-in candidate for state Senate District 38, a delighted Bill Collins on Monday turned in a petition with more than 1,500 extra signatures.

"I'm flabbergasted at the reaction to this," Collins said. "I'm tickled to death."

The response to his newcomer bid for the office included volunteers who walked neighborhoods to get more signatures, he said. It showed that people want another choice and a candidate who's not a professional politician.

Collins, former publisher of the Summerville Journal Scene, announced a month ago he would run for the seat against former state Sen. Mike Rose, who beat Sen. Randy Scott in the Republican primary. There is no Democratic candidate for the seat in November, and Collins made the decision to run after Rose won the primary.

Collins needed to give the state Election Commission 3,155 signatures of registered voters by today to get on the ballot as an independent. He collected 4,696, he said. The signatures must be validated.

"We're going to scrutinize the signatures to see which are qualified and which aren't," Rose said. "Whatever will be will be."

The Dorchester County Republican Party's executive committee has unanimously passed a resolution urging Republicans to oppose the petition by "all legal and ethical means."