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Beaufort County Council will have new faces. Here are some who want to represent you.

Cathy McClellan
Cathy McClellan

A retired school administrator is vying to represent Sun City on Beaufort County Council.

Joseph Passiment will run for the District 6 seat Jerry Stewart plans to vacate when his term ends.

In a news release Monday, Passiment said he taught business in New York and New Jersey and was a business administrator for almost 30 years in New Jersey schools before retiring to Sun City in 2015. He serves on the Beaufort County Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on various Sun City committees.

"As we watch the communities in Beaufort County change, I want to dedicate my time to the smart development needed in education, healthcare, road infrastructure and economic growth," he said in the release.

Passiment is one of numerous candidates attempting to join a public body that will see a lot of turnover at the end of the year. Four council members — Robert "Tabor" Vaux, Jerry Stewart, Rick Caporale and Steven Fobes — have announced their intentions to step down when their terms expire.

Hilton Head resident Cathy McClellan is the first Democrat to file, running for the District 10 seat Fobes currently holds. McClellan retired to Hilton Head last year after a career as an attorney in California and Maryland.

In Maryland, she practiced criminal defense law, and served as a state Administrative Law Court judge and mediator, she said. McClellan said she's running for County Council to remain in public service.

"I think there's a lot of work to be done," she said. "On of the things I'm good at is collaboration. That's what I do — I listen, I know how to compromise when necessary. "

She'll have at least one challenger.

Lawrence McElynn, the county's chief magistrate, said this month he will resign his post and filed as a Republican to also run for Fobes' seat.

County Council chairman Paul Sommerville will seek a fourth term representing Beaufort, Lady's Island and Fripp Island in District 2.

Sommerville said he plans to see through $30 million of planned Lady's Island traffic improvements and that there are other transportation and drainage issues needing attention.

"I've got a lot of institutional knowledge," said Sommerville, who was first elected in 2007. "I can still make a contribution, and I intend to."

Alice Howard is running for a second term representing Beaufort and Port Royal in District 4. Howard, a former environmental officer at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, said work remains to coordinate a countywide stormwater strategy, to advance transportation projects and address affordable housing needs.

"I feel that I've got now the experience in the things I need to keep working on for the county and district," she said. "It's kind of an easy decision."

In Bluffton, Republicans Mike Raymond and Laura Sterling have filed to run for the District 9 seat currently held by Vaux. Mark Lawson announced he would also run for the seat, though county records did not show he had filed as of Monday afternoon.

Filing closes March 30. Statewide primaries are June 12 ahead of the Nov. 6 general election.

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