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Several seats up for grabs in Williams election

Multiple elected leadership roles in the Town of Williams are coming up for grabs, as the town is preparing for its regularly-scheduled election.
The town’s election will be held on Tuesday, April 14th, at the Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church, located at 2008 Risher Road in Williams. The poll will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In this election, the town’s top elected seat, the mayoral seat, will be on the ballot, along with four council seats. Each of the council seats is for a 2-year term.
Current town council members are Julian Ohmer, Kristen Jordan, Brooks Clare, and Marie Hayes.
The town’s current mayor is Will Evans.
On Sunday, Evans confirmed with this newspaper that he is seeking re-election to his seat. Evans has served three terms as the town’s mayor. If he wins the next term, this will be his fourth consecutive term as mayor. If he wins, Evans said he would continue to focus on water improvements within the town.
The town has secured two grants for these water improvements – one is a Community Development Block Grant, and the second is a DHEC grant. The funds from these grants have been used to install a new water well in the town, along with new water lines and a water improvement process.
In addition to improving water, Evans said he and the town’s current leaders are planning to focus on creating new ordinances that will maintain the town’s current rural lifestyle. Growth is coming their way, he said. “We want to keep the integrity of the town in place,” he said.
According to Evans, there are approximately 100 residents who live inside the town’s limits. Of those, approximately 80 Williams’ residents are registered to vote, according to the county elections office.
Anyone wanting to file as a candidate for the open seats can go to the Voter Registration and Elections Office, located at 2471 Jefferies Highway in Walterboro. Filing for the mayoral seat and the four council seats open at noon on Monday, Jan. 27th. Filing for candidates will close at noon on February 7th. There is no filing fee associated with this election.
Before filing, interested candidates need to fill out an Intention of Candidacy Form, a Statement of Economic Interest and a Campaign Disclosure Form.
These forms are located at www.scvotes.org.
The Town of Williams’ election is a non-partisan one, meaning there is no political party affiliation associated with any of the seats.
This also means that any resident within the town’s limits can vote in this election, without political party association.
According to Upchurch, any Williams’ resident who is not registered to vote has until March 13th to get registered and be able to vote in this April election.
To register, visit the Colleton County Voter Registration & Elections Office or sign up online at www.scvotes.org.
The Williams Town Council voted in 2016 to transfer all authority for conducting their municipal elections to the Colleton County Board of Elections and Office of Voter Registration. However, the town is still responsible for paying for its elections: these costs include using paper ballots, paying poll managers, and advertising the election, as required by state law, according to Angela Upchurch, director of the Colleton County Board of Elections.
The upcoming Town of Williams election is not on the same political, municipal election cycle as all other municipalities in Colleton County. The municipal elections for Walterboro, Edisto Beach, Cottageville, Smoaks and Lodge were all held in November of 2019. Upchurch says the Town of Williams did not vote to make the change in their municipal election calendar so that they could be included in the 2019 election cycle. Because of this, the Town of Williams’ elections is held at a separate time.
Evans said he is going to solicit input from S.C. Municipal Association as to how the town can get back “on track” to be a part of the routine election cycle with other municipalities in Colleton County.

Heather Walters (1724 Posts)