SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – No winners were declared in Tuesday's general election in Surfside Beach, and a runoff later this month may be required.
Voters in the town went to the polls to cast their votes for mayor and to fill four open town council seats.
However, because it was a non-partisan race, a winner couldn't be declared until there was a majority, according to town clerk Debra Herrmann.
In the race for mayor between incumbent Doug Samples and current Town Councilman Bob Childs, 878 votes were cast, according to unofficial results. One of the candidates needed 439 votes to be declared the winner.
The unofficial results were:
- Bob Childs – 436
- Doug Samples – 430
- Write-in Votes – 12
For the general election for three town council seats, 2,259 votes were cast. A winner would need 376.5 votes, which is based on the total number of votes divided by the number of seats looking to be filled, according to Herrmann. That number would then be divided by two.
As was the case with the mayor's race, none of the eight candidates received a majority. The unofficial results based on Tuesday's election were:
- Vicki Blair – 252
- Mark Johnson (incumbent) – 365
- Mary Beth Mabry (incumbent) – 334
- Ron Ott – 308
- Wanda Spannuth – 268
- Randle Stevens (incumbent) – 293
- Holly Ann Watson – 266
- Stanley J. Wrobel – 160
- Write-in Votes – 13
A special election was also held Tuesday to fill a seat left vacant by the passing of Town Councilman Ralph Magliette last October, according to Herrmann. The victor, she added, would need 404 out of the total 808 votes cast.
The unofficial results in that race were:
- Vicki Blair – 230
- Tim Courtney – 301
- Steve Shore – 171
- Stanley J. Wrobel – 98
- Write-in Votes – 8
Herrmann said the certification hearing for Tuesday's results is Thursday at 10 a.m. There are some challenge ballots that will be read and a winner could be certified.
If a clear winner is still not announced in any of the races, the town will hold a special election on Tuesday, April 19, which will feature a limited number of names on the ballot and no write-in candidates, according to Herrmann.
"It was a hotly-contested election," Herrmann said about Tuesday's contest.
And it was also one that had some town residents upset.
In the weeks and months leading up to Tuesday's election a number of anonymous flyers wound up in mailboxes and door frames. One was emboldened with the town emblem and referred to Surfside Beach residents as town complainers.
Others bashed the candidates running for mayor and town council. One even depicted Samples as a monkey.