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County Council member runs for mayor

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Ron Charlton didn’t talk politics when he spoke to the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club this week.

But the next day the County Council member from District 2 announced plans to run for mayor of Georgetown as a write-in candidate in November’s election.

“I think it was appropriate to make the announcement in the city, where the people I’ll be asking to vote for me are,” Charlton explained.

Charlton, a Republican who represents the south end of Waccamaw Neck, said he considered running for mayor when filing opened in March, but decided against it. He said he made the decision to run now because of continued requests from the public, a struggling economy and events in Georgetown.

“I don’t like some of the decisions I’ve see made in recent months,” he said.

The owner of Southern Cable Communications, Charlton has served on council since 1996. His district also includes parts of the city.

Charlton beat Democrat James Sanderson in November for a fourth term on council with 68 percent of the vote. If he is elected mayor, a special election would take place next year to fill his council seat.

He has been at odds with the Waccamaw Neck’s other two representatives, Jerry Oakely and Glen O’Connell, over funding of the county’s capital improvement plan and implementation of impact fees.

When Charlton was absent from a council meeting in 2007 after his vote against funding the capital plan, Oakley and O’Connell voted to delay his pet project, the Sampit River boat landing.

Tom Swatzel, chairman of the Georgetown County Republican Party, said the party wishes Charlton well, but will support the party’s candidate, Marty Tennant.

Swatzel called Tennant, “a breath of fresh air for Georgetown, willing to take on the excessive taxes and spending that have burdened city taxpayers, and willing to ask the hard questions.”

Jack Scoville is the Democratic candidate. Two others filed as petition candidates in the Nov. 3 election.

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