Filing has officially opened for the Summerville mayoral race. As of Friday, three candidates filed for the coveted, nonpartisan seat: Bill Hearn, Richard Waring and Fleming Moore.
Hearn is currently on Dorchester County Council, and Waring is the former chief of Summerville Fire-Rescue. Moore is a local singer-songwriter running a grassroots campaign. There have also been community rumblings that a fourth candidate might file.
Current Mayor Wiley Johnson was elected to his first term in 2015, unseating incumbent Bill Collins; but he has said he doesn't plan to seek re-election. Johnson made the announcement last month, first telling a group of his supporters at a barbecue function at his home.
At that time, Johnson told the Journal Scene that while he felt he had a chance at another political victory, the current form of government limits his position too much for him to enact necessary changes.
“I feel like I could have won, but if the people of Summerville don’t see a need to restructure things politically, there’s just not much point in running,” Johnson said.
The mayor revealed he also plans do donate $1,700 in campaign funds to local nonprofits.
Town Council seats in districts 2, 4 and 6, along with commissioner of public works, an at-large seat, are also up for election. All races are nonpartisan; and all three council members up for re-election, including Christine Czarnik, Bill McIntosh, and Bob Jackson, are seeking another term.
So far, only one council incumbent is being challenged for a seat. Terry Jenkins told the Journal Scene he wanted to again seek the District 2 seat. Czarnik and Jenkins both ran for District 2 in 2015.
Filing for town offices closes at noon on Sept. 6. Election Day is Nov. 3.