‘Haven’t seen anything like this’: Elections officials react to ‘crazy’ one-vote Clover result

Voters in Clover, South Carolina will have a new mayor next week after Greg Holmes edged incumbent Mayor Donnie Grice by just one vote. Holmes, a Town Council member, earned the narrow win after the York County Board of Voter Registration and Elec
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Voters in Clover, South Carolina will have a new mayor next week after Greg Holmes edged incumbent Mayor Donnie Grice by just one vote. Holmes, a Town Council member, earned the narrow win after the York County Board of Voter Registration and Elec
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Clover mayor race decided by 1 vote as election officials certify races in York, Chester, Lancaster counties

By David Thackham

dthackham@heraldonline.com

November 09, 2017 05:55 PM

YORK

Voting officials throughout York, Lancaster and Chester counties met Thursday to officially certify results from Tuesday’s general elections.

Most results were focused on city or town council elections, including many mayoral positions.

The York County Board of Voter Registration and Elections will certify the results of the Pennies for Progress referendum Friday morning.

Clover residents narrowly elected Town Council member Greg Holmes as their new mayor by just one vote, election officials determined Thursday afternoon.

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The board initiated three recounts to ensure every ballot was counted correctly, a process that took nearly five hours.

Holmes (427 votes) defeated longtime Mayor Donnie Grice (426 votes), who has served for seven two-year terms.

Holmes has served as a council member since spring. He has also served as the director of the Clover Parks and Recreation Department. He will take office on Nov. 13.

York County

Clover

Mayor: Unofficial results on Tuesday night had Holmes leading Grice by one vote.

The first official tally by the board put Grice on top 427-426. A recount was triggered because the two were within the margin of error.

The first recount ended in a tie, according to elections board chairman Steve Rast.

The board then authorized two additional recounts to ensure they received the same results. Both additional recounts certified that Holmes had just enough votes to unseat Grice.

It all came down to provisional paper ballots, Rast said, which put Holmes over the top.

Rast said he had never seen an election result like it in his time on the board.

“It was a little crazy,” he said. “You never see it like this. I don’t think we’ve ever had a change on a recount of the paper ballots. It just is what it is, the numbers are the numbers.”

Holmes said he was happy to get the win, and looked forward to uniting the town under his leadership.

“I really want the town to come together, progress and move forward,” he said. “It feels great to have a lot of people come out and support me.”

Town Council (6 seats open): Teresa B. Hurst (532 votes), Chris Farris (521 votes), Amy Moses (496 votes), Debbie PeeWee Williams (482 votes), Wes Spurrier (481 votes) and Todd Blanton (447 votes) all will serve on Clover’s Town Council along with new mayor-elect Greg Holmes.

Sharon

Town Council (4 seats open): Sharon’s Town Council is now set. The four top vote-getters included Bob Barnette (65 votes), Herschel L. Brown, Jr. (60 votes), Kenn Doster (58 votes) and Jerry Bradham (57 votes).

Tommy Childers (41 votes) and Donald Kropp (25 votes) were among the other candidates.

Incumbent Mayor Beverly Blair was unchallenged and did not appear on the ballot.

Smyrna

Town Council (4 seats open): Smyrna’s Town Council will be made up of Robert W. Faulkner, Jr. (6 votes), Robert W. Faulkner (4 votes), Robert P. Jackson (4 votes) and Amy Myott (3 votes).

Incumbent Mayor William Christopher Faulkner was unchallenged.

Tega Cay

Mayor: David O’Neal will serve as Tega Cay’s new mayor after receiving 57.7 percent of the votes.

O’Neal earned 1,408 votes, while challenger Dottie Hersey picked up 1,026 votes (42.05 percent).

Mayor George Sheppard, who has served Tega Cay since 2010, announced earlier this year he would step down from his position.

City Council (2 seats open): Heather Overman and Alicia Dasch will serve on the Tega Cay City Council.

Overman (22.06 percent) earned 1,011 votes, while Dasch (19.88 percent) came in second place with 911 votes. The York County elections board needed to complete a recount to determine who came in second and third place after Dasch and Abigail G. Duval (882 votes, 19.25 percent) finished within 1 percent of each other.

York

City Council District 1: York elected Steve Love as its new city council member.

Love received 99 votes (73.88 percent) against incumbent Charles A. Johnson (33 votes).

Fort Mill

Town Council Ward 3: Larry Huntley will continue to serve on Fort Mill’s Town Council after defeating challenger John Beilsmith by a 2-to-1 margin.

Huntley received 858 votes, while Beilsmith earned 415 votes.

Town Council at-large seat: Trudie Bolin Heemsoth will face Julia Beilsmith in a runoff election Nov. 21 for a chance to serve on an at-large seat on the Fort Mill Town Council.

Heemsoth earned 646 votes (49.69 percent) in Tuesday’s election, but failed to receive more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. Beilsmith picked up 415 votes (26.31 percent). Challenger Patti Rumsey earned 306 votes (23.54 percent).

Chester County Richburg

Mayor: James Harris was easily re-elected to serve his fifth term as mayor of Richburg.

Harris picked up 106 votes in the victory. Challenger Gerald Hensley earned 12 votes.

Town Council (vote for 4): Flora Barber (96 votes), Albert Stewart (89 votes), Ed Sharpe (81 votes) and Helen Williams (71 votes) earned sports on the Richburg Town Council.

Fort Lawn

Town Council (vote for 3): Zelma Reddick (52 votes), Wendy Hatcher (26 votes) and Angel Waits (22 votes) earned spots on the Fort Lawn Town Council.

Lancaster County Heath Springs

Mayor: The Rev. Eddie Moore became the first black mayor elected in Lancaster County, winning a three-candidate race in Heath Springs.

Moore avoided a runoff by receiving 53 percent of the vote (101 votes). Fellow candidates Christi DeGregorio (64 votes) and Iva Lee Drakeford (24 votes) earned 33.51 percent and 12.57 percent of the vote, respectively.

Moore has served as a town council member since 1991. He will succeed Ann Taylor, who was Heath Springs’ mayor for 26 years.

Kershaw

Town Council (vote for 1): Eddie Coates overwhelmingly won election to another term on the Kershaw Town Council.

Coates earned 132 votes (75 percent), while challenger Chandler Norville earned 44 votes (25 percent).

Coates has served on the town council for 16 years.

David Thackham: 803-329-4066, @dthackham