Hines by Ten for Darlington Mayor
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
The Darlington County Board of Elections met the morning of Thursday, November 19, to count provisional ballots for voters who did not cast their ballots at their registered City of Darlington precincts in the Nov. 17 runoff election.
Mayoral candidates Gloria Cheeseboro Hines and Jim Stone – who were tied at 814 votes each – received an additional 14 votes and 4 votes respectively, placing Hines on top by ten. Her final total was 828 votes, with 818 cast for Stone.
City Council candidates Carolyn Bruce, John Milling, Diane Sigmon, and Bryant Gardner were vying for three at-large seats, with the top three vote-getters winning office. While each candidate added to their previous vote count, several key provisional ballots fell in Gardner’s favor and allowed him to leapfrog Sigmon and land in third place.
The final council vote totals were as follows:
Carolyn Bruce – 907 (previously 893)
John Milling – 851 (previously 846)
Bryant Gardner – 847 (previously 840)
Diane Sigmon – 845 (previously 842)
Though some present challenged the validity of provisional ballots mailed by registered voters living outside Darlington, the board opted to exclude only those persons who are currently registered to vote in other cities.
Cheers erupted from Hines’ supporters as the final tally was announced. Stone and his wife offered congratulations to Hines and thanked all those who supported his candidacy. At a short press conference afterward, Hines – set to become the city’s first African-American mayor – vowed to work hard for all the citizens of Darlington.
“I just want to thank everyone that came out to vote for me. I won’t let you down. I’ll do a great job for Darlington because this is my hometown and we will make it back the Pearl of the Pee Dee,” said Hines.
Election results are scheduled for a recount at 5 pm, Nov. 19, after which the results will be certified and final.