LEXINGTON COUNTY SC — Boat dealer Ron Williams was the choice of voters Tuesday to fill a vacancy on Lexington Town Council.
Williams received 355 votes – nearly a third of the 1,216 cast overall – to win his second try after losing a separate contest to fill a previous vacancy last month, according to unofficial results.
The outcome capped an unusual race solely among write-in candidates.
A field of nine known challengers developed after no one qualified for the ballot due to insufficient signatures on nominating petitions.
The situation led some town leaders to call that requirement an antiquated barrier that should be repealed.
But a deadlock over ending it has occurred as others defend petitions as a sign of commitment forcing candidates to listen to residents’ concerns in the steadily growing town of 18,000.
Each write-in candidate sought to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Danny Frazier, who left after a furor over his involvement in advising Internet gambling sweepstakes parlors that were later outlawed.
Williams will serve through December 2015 on the seven-member council, although that period may be extended a year.
Town Council is moving to shift local elections from odd- to even-numbered years concurrent with federal and state election starting in 2016 in hope of increasing low turnout.