Darryl Owens spent more time on himself this campaign and made the most of a second chance.
The 20-year Port Royal resident won the special election for an open Town Council seat Tuesday, per unofficial results.
After checking the voting results of the two largest precincts at Town Hall, he celebrated briefly with immediate family and called his father. Owens, 50, unsuccessfully ran in a 2015 election to fill two open council seats and said he was still committed to serving.
“Basically just knocking on doors and being visible — that was the key to my success,” said Owens, who is the chief of operations for the Jasper County School District.
Owens would fill the seat left vacant by the death of Vernon DeLoach in February. Patty Crower, Bob Ellis and Marjorie Lamb also campaigned for the seat.
With nine of 10 precincts reported as of publication, Owens earned 159 of 314 votes, or 50.6 percent. Crower was next with 84 votes.
The results will be authenticated by a town election commission Thursday morning.
Owens will have to run again to keep his seat in November. He is a member of the town’s zoning board, a past member of the design board and served on the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
As during his campaign in 2015, Owens heard from residents most about the future of the Port of Port Royal, he said. The former state port terminal is under contract after a bidding process earlier this year and potentially on the way to redevelopment.
Owens said he spoke with a representative of the buyers recently and would sit down with current council members to catch up on existing development agreements on the property and what might need to be done.
The town’s infrastructure and affordable housing are other issues Owens said he will champion.
He had no plans to celebrate Tuesday night but said he would plan an appreciation reception soon for the community.
“And basically just let them know I am transparent, I am here to serve and to hold me accountable,” Owens said. “And to remind them that I am only one vote.”