A runoff election is needed after candidates Wayne Hiller and Edwin Wicker garnered the most votes in yesterday’s District 2 city council election.
Wicker won 96 votes or 49.7 percent and Hiller won 51 or 26.4.
Other candidates Heath McCutcheon had 26, and Karen Wyatt had 20 votes.
“With that many candidates, it was bound to be close enough for a runoff,” said Brenda Rogers Director of voter registration.
The runoff is March 1.
Hiller, 62, is a retired Southern Railway section foreman.
Wicker, 62, is an ISE site manager.
Hiller said he entered the race because he wanted to do something for the city and the District 2 neighborhood. He said he also wants to continue what is being done now “and to just try to help the people in general.”
Wicker says he entered the race to “keep the ball rolling” of the work Senn, council and former mayor Ed Kyzer started so Newberry stays in good shape.
Other area towns like Clinton and Laurens aren’t doing that great financially, Wicker said.
“I feel good to be in the runoff,” said Wicker. Wicker thanked the other candidates and voters.
“I feel good,” said Hiller. “See you in two weeks, win, lose or draw.”
The two stood talking in the voter registration office last night before votes were tallied.
Tuesday was Wicker’s first election as a candidate.
The election day wait wasn’t as bad as Wicker thought it would be, he said.
Hiller has run for the District 2 city seat before.
“Run my ads, talk to people…” Hiller said. “What’s done is done.”
Hiller says he went door-to-door a little bit, but would also talk to people when he saw them out, saying he would appreciate their support.
You can’t pressure anyone, he said.
“It’s their decision who they vote for,” Hiller said.
Yesterday Hiller went fishing.
The two runoff candidates are both the same age and name similar reasons for running. They also agreed the race was a friendly one.
“It’s been a great race as far as the other candidates,” said Wicker before the results came out.
“I don’t believe in that mudslinging,” said Hiller.
Candidates McCutcheon and Wyatt were not at the voter registration office Tuesday night.
Though he says it was a good race between candidates, Wicker wishes more would have voted.
Of eligible voters at the Oakland booth, about a fourth, or 54 voted, says Sammie Graham who worked the Oakland precinct.
Graham arrived at the poll at 6:20 a.m. Polls opened at 7 a.m. and his first voter, Hiller, arrived around 7:15.
“It was a good day,” says Graham. “It was just slow.”
Official results will be certified at noon Thursday by the city election commission.