Cook ends petition bid to challenge county treasurer in November election

The group of potential petition candidates seeking to oust embattled Beaufort County Treasurer Joy Logan in November's general election thinned Thursday when city of Beaufort comptroller Mack Cook bowed out of the race.

Cook said the rigors of working full-time and campaigning was beginning to take a toll.

"I work for a public that has been very good to me and deserves 100 percent of my energy and my effort and for the past two weeks, they weren't getting it," Cook said. "I found out that running for treasurer is a full-time job and I've already got a full-time job."

Cook's departure leaves Doug Henderson, a retired banker from Lady's Island, and Jimmy Mackey, a procurement technician for the Department of the Navy, to vie for the signatures necessary to appear on the ballot in November.

To appear as petition candidates, state law requires Henderson and Mackey to obtain the signatures of 5 percent of the county's registered votes -- about 5,000 people -- by July 15. The exact number of signatures needed won't be known until July 5, when an updated list of active registered voters is available, according to the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections. Voters are allowed to sign more than one petition, which will be verified by county election officials.

Henderson said he has collected about 3,000 signatures and is satisfied with his progress since declaring his intention to run late last month.

"We're pleased, but we've still got a long ways to go and we have less than 30 days left," he said.

Mackey would not say Thursday how many signatures he has collected but said he intends to be on November's ballot.

"I'm confident that I will get on the ballot and when my name appears on the ballot, I will win this election," Mackey said. "This is not something I'm doing for me. This is all about giving (the Treasurer's Office) back to the people of Beaufort County."

If Mackey and Henderson succeed in getting on the ballot, they will be the first opponent Logan has faced since the 1990 Republican primary. In that race, she defeated former county administrator Michael O'Neill by about 1,500 votes. She has run unopposed in every primary and general election since taking office in 1991, according to county records.

Logan has come under fire recently from Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic and members of Beaufort County Council following the arrest May 12 of former Treasurer's Office employee Casaundra White, who is accused of embezzling more than $210,000 from public accounts.