Perkis wins Sullivan’s Island mayor’s race

Sullivan's Island Mayor-elect Mike Perkis

Ralph Melvin

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — In unofficial results, Mike Perkis won a hotly-contested race for mayor against incumbent Carl Smith.

Perkis received 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Smith.

“I congratulate all my supporters who worked so hard. It was a very close vote,” Smith said.

Perkis said he looked forward to working hard for the town during the next four years. “I’m very, very excited,” he said. “I will try to heal the divisiveness we’ve had over the past month.”

Perkis, a two-term Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, was the only candidate officially registered for the mayor’s race. Smith initially decided not to seek a third four-year term as mayor. He changed his mind and competed as a write-in candidate.

In the race for three Town Council seats, the top vote-getters were incumbent Patrick O’Neil, 28 percent; Chauncey Clark, 27 percent; and Susan Middaugh, 26 percent. Bill Matthews received 19 percent of the vote.

The Charleston County Election Commission will certify the results.

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.

The school is set to open in August 2014.