Hughes Collected Signatures on Election Day
Carolyn Hughes was one of the dozens of candidates removed from ballots by recent S.C. Supreme Court decisions, and spent Tuesday collecting signatures for her bid to appear on the November ballot as a petition candidate
Bad weather and a low voter turnout didn't dampen Carolyn Hughes' efforts to get on the November ballot as a petition candidate.
Hughes was one of the approximately 200 candidates removed from ballots acorss the state due to recent S.C. Supreme Court rulings on candidate eligibility. Her name was struck from the Republican primary ballot for the Charleston County Council District 6 seat.
Along with family members, friends and colleagues from her real estate office, Hughes spent Tuesday collecting signatures on petitions to have her name placed on the general election ballot in November.
"The turnout was really slow," Hughes said moments after polls closed Tuesday. "But everyone has been very positive about signing so I can get back on the ballot."
Hughes has until July 15 to turn in at least 1,350 certified signatures belonging to voters in Charleston County Council District 6. To be safe, Hughes said she's aiming for at least 1,500 signatures.
Any candidate that wants to run as a petition candidate has until July 15 to turn in their petitions with certified signatures, but the number of signatures will vary depending on the office being sought. Petition candidates are required to have signatures of at least 5 percent of the registered voters in the district they are running to represent.
Hughes was disappointed by the court ruling that decertified her for the primary ballot and said she followed the rules as she understood them from both the Charelston County Republican Party and from the Ethics Commission. She even followed up with the Ethics Commission with a phone call and email inquiring about her status as a candidate after she filed to run.
"I did what they told me, I filled out all the paperwork they told me to," Hughes said. "I even got an email back from the Ethics Commission that I was fine as a candidate."
However a change to electronic-only filing of Statement of Economic Interest forms by the Ethics Commission ran afoul of South Carolina election law according to the S.C. Supreme Court, and the discrepancy between filing instructions and that law ensnared more than 180 candidates statewide.
Hughes is undeterred and is determined to reach the November ballot.
"I've sold Charleston for all these years, and now I want to serve Charleston," she said.
After years of working as a realtor and seeing how issues decided by the Charleston County Council affect everything from the real estate industry to private citizens, Hughes said she thought she could have the most impact and do the most good on County Council.
"My goal is to listen to my constituents and to serve my constituents," Hughes said.
She said she got an earful from voters on Tuesday as she waited outside various polling places to ask for signatures. Hughes is also not afraid to weigh in on contentious issues.
"I am for the completion of I-526," she said. "The traffic is here now and we need to move it around. If we complete 526 we will be able to move it around."
Hughes grew up in "the North Area" and has lived the last 44 years in West Ashley. Her children attended West Ashley schools, and she's witnessed the whole Charleston area change a lot over the years. Mostly for the better she added.
"I remember when the Northbridge over the Ashley River wasn't there," she said. "I used to ride my bike on I-26 before it was built when it was just dirt."