The special election to fill a vacant Beaufort County Council seat remains a one-man race, which could save the county money, according to election officials.
Retired banker Steve Fobes is the only candidate who has filed for the District 10 seat, which represents part of Hilton Head Island and was left vacant when Steve Baer, a Republican, resigned at the end of July.
No one had filed as a write-in candidate by the Monday deadline, which means no party primary will be held, according to Marie Smalls, interim director of the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.
That should save the county money, although it's not yet clear how much, Smalls said. County officials initially estimated the election for the seat could cost between $24,000 and $36,000.
Fobes, a Republican, has said he would focus on county finances and improving economic development.
During the past few weeks, Fobes has met with sitting council members, including Stu Rodman and Rick Caporale of Hilton Head, to get acquainted with the council and the issues, he said.
He also plans to attend some committee and council meetings.
"I'm trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible," Fobes said.
Petition candidates can file to challenge Fobes by noon Oct. 4. The election is scheduled for Dec. 3. Candidates must submit a petition to the county elections board with signatures from at least 5 percent of active registered voters in the district, or 430 people.
If no one files as a petition candidate, Fobes will be sworn in Dec. 6 without an election, in accordance with state law.
Meanwhile, no candidate has emerged to represent the same district on the Board of Education.
That nonpartisan seat, left vacant when Mike Sanz resigned last month, is to be filled in a Dec. 3 election. The filing period ends Oct. 1.
To appear on the ballot for a school board seat, candidates must submit a petition with signatures from at least 2.5 percent of active registered voters in the district, or 215 people.
Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.
- Fobes alone in seeking Beaufort County Council seat, Aug. 26, 2013
- Steve Fobes files for Hilton Head seat on Beaufort County Council, Aug. 20, 2013