By Prentiss Findlay
The Post and Courier
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
MOUNT PLEASANT — Linda Page, John Burn, Elton Carrier and Dr. Craig Rhyne were elected to Town Council on Tuesday night.
In unofficial results, Page had 9.9 percent of the vote, Burn had 9.6 percent, Carrier 8.4 percent and Rhyne nearly 8 percent. A few provisional or challenged ballots remain, but they are not enough to affect the outcome, said Marilyn Bowers, director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.
“That’s exciting news. I had no idea. Sounds like I won,” Page said. She owns Page’s Thieves Market and Page’s Okra Grill. She is president of the South Carolina Auctioneers Association, a real estate agent and a personal property appraiser.
Burn is the owner of Hughes Equipment Rental and Party Rental. “It’s awesome. We worked hard and I had a wonderful group that supported me,” he said. “It’s an honor and I will do my best for my town.”
Rhyne, a surgeon, said he was surprised, humbled and excited. “I’m just happy that I can give back and serve the town that I grew up in and love so much,” he said.
Carrier, a retired senior vice president with First Federal of Charleston, was not immediately available. David Kent, broker-in-charge and owner of The Real Buyer’s Agent, was close behind at 7.5 percent of the vote.
The town has 44,607 registered voters. The council seats are elected at large. Nineteen candidates competed for the four seats.
Poll workers described voter turnout as light to moderate. At Christ Episcopal Church, Lyn Calahorrano said she cast her ballot for her list of favored council candidates that she had scribbled on a yellow Post-it note. She and her husband, Jose, supported Howard Chalmers, Carrier, Ted Summerford and Kent for council. Whether a candidate was a town native was an issue, but the primary factor was conservative values. “Who someone is at the core is who someone is under pressure,” Lyn Calahorrano said.
Chalmers campaigned late Tuesday afternoon outside Wando High
School. He introduced himself and shook hands with people heading inside to the polls. Reflecting on his campaign, Chalmers said, “I’m very glad I did it. I had a blast on the campaign. I’m very tired.” He received 5.9 percent of the vote.
Chalmers, 37, a software design manager at Blackbaud, hoped to convince voters that his experience managing people and technology projects made him qualified to tackle the challenges facing the town. But he wasn’t making any election predictions. “With 19 candidates, I have no idea,” he said.
About 20 percent of 1,733 eligible voters had cast ballots at the school as of about 4:30 p.m., officials said.