Steve Fobes files for Hilton Head seat on Beaufort County Council

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comAugust 20, 2013 

Steve Fobes


Retired banker Steve Fobes has filed to run for a vacant Beaufort County Council seat representing part of Hilton Head Island.

The District 10 seat was vacated when Steve Baer, a Republican, resigned at the end of July.

Fobes, a Republican, filed for the seat Friday and is the first and, so far, only one to enter the race, according to Marie Smalls, interim director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Registration. The filing period for the seat remains open until noon Monday.

If others file, the election will be Dec. 3.An Iowa native, Fobes, 66, moved to Hilton Head in 2010 from Loveland, Colo., where he worked in the banking industry for about 40 years.

After earning a degree from the University of Denver's College of Law, Fobes was a banking industry attorney and held several leadership positions, including bank president. He retired last summer and said he hopes his financial expertise and leadership experience will help the County Council.

Fobes also spent eight years on the school board of the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colo. Six of those years were as the board's president. That district had a budget of about $175 million.

The District 10 seat opened when Baer unexpectedly announced his resignation at a council meeting June 24, citing his frustration with the council's budgeting process. He said it lacked clarity and transparency.

Fobes says he shares those concerns.

"I'm a fairly fiscal conservative person, and it all starts with the budget," Fobes said.

Fobes said he also would focus on economic development.

"(I'm) about making the county and our area viable for businesses to move into, jobs to be created," he said. "Economic development will be one of our bigger issues."

The special election could include party primaries, party runoffs and a Dec. 3 general election, election officials say. The entire election is expected to cost between $24,000 and $36,000. Those interested in filing can do so Monday through Friday at the Beaufort County elections office at 15 Galt Road in Beaufort from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at 61B Ulmer Road in Bluffton from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Candidates must file a Statement of Intention of Candidacy/Party Pledge Form, along with a filing fee check of $332 made payable to the appropriate political party, according to the elections office website at Details: 843-255-6900.

Candidates can file as write-ins within 14 days after Monday's filing period closes.


Beaufort County election and school district officials announced Tuesday that a special election to fill Mike Sanz's District 10 seat on the Board of Education will coincide with a special election to fill Steve Baer's former County Council seat.

Baer and Sanz represented the same district on Hilton Head Island.

Sanz resigned from the school board Aug. 11 to take a teaching job with the district. Filing for the nonpartisan school board seat closes at noon Oct. 1.

Those wishing to be placed on the ballot must submit a petition to the county election commission with signatures from at least 2.5 percent of active registered voters -- 215 people -- in the district. Those wishing to file as a write-in candidate must do so no later than Oct. 15.

Details: Call the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Registration at 843-255-6903.

Follow reporter Zach Murdock at

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