Petition candidate for treasurer's office learns magic number of signatures needed

Having outlasted two other petition candidates for Beaufort County treasurer, Doug Henderson now knows exactly how many valid signatures he must collect to appear on the ballot in November opposite incumbent Joy Logan.

An updated list of the county's registered voters released Sunday reveals Henderson must obtain 4,720 signatures -- representing 5 percent of the county's 94,393 registered voters -- by noon July 15 to appear on the ballot as a nonpartisan petition candidate, said Scott Marshall, director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

Each signature then will be verified by county election officials, Marshall said.

"That's a lot of signatures to collect, and to also make sure they're good signatures is especially challenging," Marshall said, adding that some of the signatures will be rejected because they belong to those who are not registered voters.

Having obtained between 4,000 and 5,000 signatures so far, Henderson said he plans to collect more than the required number to guarantee his place on the ballot.

"I'm confident that I have enough, though it was a lot tougher than I anticipated at the beginning," Henderson said. "A lot of people got involved with this, and it showed me that people are really concerned about what's going on in that office and are looking for a different way of doing things."

Henderson was among three men initially vying to challenge Logan, who has come under fire after the May 12 arrest of Casaundra White. White, a former Treasurer's Office employee, is accused of stealing more than $210,000 from public accounts.

Mack Cook, Beaufort city comptroller, dropped out of the race last month after deciding he was too busy to continue.

A law prohibiting federal employees from seeking office against a partisan candidate forced Jimmy Mackie -- a Navy procurement technician -- out of the race last week, leaving Henderson as the only candidate still seeking to oust Logan in November.

If Henderson gets on the ballot, he 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.