Another local candidate removed from the ballot by her party because of a decision by the State Supreme Court has announced plans to run as a petition candidate in the November general election.
Chrystal Coffer was running for the Democratic nomination for the Union County Council District 3 seat when she and eight other candidates were removed from the ballot by the Democratic and Republican parties earlier this month. The parties removed the candidates from the ballot in response to a ruling by the State Supreme Court that candidates for public office must provide their party with a paper copy of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether it had been file electronically. The court’s decision forced the parties to remove hundreds of candidates from the ballot across the state, among them nine of the 17 candidates running for office in Union County, including Coffer.
While they will not be able to run in the June 12 primaries, those removed from the ballot do have the option of running as petition candidates in the November general election. To have their name placed on the November ballot as a petition, a person must collect the signatures of five percent of the registered voters in their district. In an email sent to The Union Daily Times on Tuesday, Coffer stated that she plans to run as a petition candidate in District 3 and is in the process of collecting the required number of signatures to do so.
“I will be running as a petition candidate in the November election for (the) Union Council District 3 seat,” Coffer stated. “I am currently collecting signatures for my petition, and making great progress doing so.”
Of the seven Democrats and two Republicans removed from the ballot by their parties in the wake of the court’s decision, all but two have announced plans to run as petition candidates. The Republicans removed from the ballot were Ronda Adams-Palmer who, like Coffer, was running for the Union County Council District 3 seat, and Marshal Adams, who was running for Union County Sheriff. Adams-Palmer and Adams have both said they are gathering signatures to run as petition candidates for the offices they were seeking as Republicans.
In addition to Coffer, the Democrats who have announced plans to run as petition candidates include William Jolly, Melanie Lawson, Curtiss Hunter and Ralph Tucker. Jolly is running for sheriff, Lawson for Union County Clerk of Court, and Hunter and Tucker for the Union County Council District 2 seat. Last week, Hunter became the first of those seeking to run a petition candidacy to turn in the signatures of the registered voters in her district to the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office for review and verification.
If the signatures collected by Hunter are verified by the registrar’s office, she will be the first candidate to have their name placed on the ballot for the District 2 seat. No Republicans are running in District 2 and the removal of Hunter, Tucker and fellow Democrat Frank Hart from the ballot left the district without any candidates for the office.
Hart, along with Ray Treadway who was seeking the Democratic nomination for the Union County Council District 6 seat, have not announced whether or not they will run as petition candidates.
Of the eight candidates that were not removed from the ballot as a result of the court’s decision, all but two are incumbents. Among the incumbents only one, Union County Council District 5 Council Randall “Chump” Hanvey, has opposition in the June 12 primary. Hanvey is opposed by John Rampey for the Democratic nomination for the District 5 seat. Unopposed for the Democratic nomination for their respective offices are SC House District 4 Rep. Mike Anthony, Sheriff David Taylor, Union County Council District 3 Councilman Tommy Ford, and Union County Council District 6 Council Member Kacie Petrie.
Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault is the sole Republican incumbent. Also on the Republican side is Randall English who is running against Anthony for the District 42 seat in the November general election.