In Flotown, We Only Elect Mayors Who's Last Name Starts With W, And Who Wear Glasses........It's the Law.
The battle between Stephen Wukela and incumbent Mayor Frank Willis has progressed and regressed all at the same time since Tuesday's primary election. Wukela still holds a sinfle vote lead after recount, but that one vote is being protested by Willis' attorney, and Willis is requesting - you guessed it - another election based on a tie.
After recount, both Willis and Wukela received one additional vote. The one vote for Wukela was from a man who recently moved from Lake City to Florence ( isn't everyone leaving Lake City?), and voted for Wukela. Willis is contesting that one vote, and one is all you need. In addition , Willis is charging that there were city residents that were not allowed to vote in the Mayor's race, and non-city resident's that did vote. No specific cases have been given, but it's pretty standard to pile the complaints on to make a better case.
To give you an idea of how crazy Florence elections are, listen to this. In primaries involving city elections, you can vote in BOTH the Democratic and Republican primaries !! The city votes are considered separate, so you could have voted for Lindsey Graham in the GOP Senate race, and still have voted for Wukela or Willis in the Mayor's race. Strange indeed.......
So, where are we now? Wukela is still the winner, but the protest now goes to the State and Florence municipal Democratic parties. Will it end there? Don't count on it, pun intended. If you have seen the HBO movie 'Recount' this month, about the Bush - Gore 2000 race, you'll know that there are plenty of ways to stretch this mess out.
Back in 2004, Dickie Jones of Sumter lost to Phil Leventis by a mere 36 votes, with hundreds of disputed votes cast at Morris College. Everyone pushed Dickie to protest the vote and fight Leventis, but he declined. Maybe he had the right idea. The GOP may have been able to benefit locally from this mess, but no one is running for Mayor on the Republican ticket. Too bad.....