Incumbents DeLoach, Heyward win Port Royal Town Council race

November 3, 2009 

Port Royal resident Sarah Welch gets some assistance from poll worker Peg Schlichtemeier before casting her vote at the Port Royal fire station Tuesday afternoon.

JONATHAN DYER | THE BEAUFORT GAZETTE

Incumbents Vernon DeLoach and Mary Beth Heyward defeated two challengers in the Port Royal Town Council election Tuesday and vowed to consider the best interest of residents during their next four-year terms as at-large council members.

With 2,464 eligible voters in Port Royal, only 561 votes were cast, according to data released by the Board of Voter Registration and Elections.

DeLoach, 80, took home the most votes with 183, or about 33 percent. Heyward, 54, followed with about 151 votes -- about 27 percent.

Challengers Julia Peters, 69, and Sally M. Germer, 51, brought in 124 and 102 votes respectively.

"Tonight went about like I expected," DeLoach said. "I think it shows that some of the things I've been trying to do are more popular than some people thought."

DeLoach, a retired construction representative for the U.S. Navy, has served on council for more than 10 years and said he's grateful for residents' continued support. His priorities during his next term include redeveloping the port of Port Royal and slowing the town's development process to focus more on quality building rather than quantity.

Heyward, director of clinical services at Lowcountry Medical Group, said shewill continue working to maintain the quality of life residents deserve.

"I'm very happy and pleased that the citizens of Port Royal put their trust back in me for another four years," Heyward said.

Peters, a retired interior designer and former business owner, and Germer, a real estate agent and owner of Red Door Rentals, did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday.

About 10.4 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots in the Port Royal and Bluffton town council elections Tuesday.

In the 2007 Port Royal race for two council seats and mayor, only 355 votes were cast. Only 293 votes decided a 2006 special election to fill one council seat. The town didn't hold an election in 2005 because only two candidates ran to fill two seats.

The county canvass hearing is at 10 a.m. Thursday, where the remaining two precincts representing absentee and provisional ballots will be counted. The meeting is at 15 John Galt Road in Beaufort.

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