After gathering more than 9,000 signatures in under two months, Doug Henderson is enjoying the leisurely pace of his general election campaign for Beaufort County Treasurer.
Henderson, a 66-year-old retired banker and Cat Island resident, gathered enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot in November as a petition candidate opposite embattled county treasurer Joy Logan. He will be the first candidate Logan has faced in a general election since she became treasurer in 1991.
With the Nov. 2 election still more than a month away, Henderson said he is pacing himself and has begun laying the groundwork for his campaign, which included forming a 10-member election committee last month and launching a campaign web site.
"You don't want to go out with too much too early," Henderson said. "This is going to be much more of a print-based campaign because we're going to have to try to reach more people than we did during the petition drive."
The committee consists of northern and southern Beaufort County volunteers who each played a role in his petition campaign, Henderson said.
Charlie Mitchell of Sun City, Henderson's campaign manager, said while the number of signatures volunteers collected to get Henderson on the ballot is impressive, the real work is far from over.
"We've got a good base of over 9,500 voters who signed the petition but we need to reinforce that base and spread the word to all the other voters in the county," Mitchell said. "It feels like there's less pressure with this campaign. When we were collecting signatures, we had to do all of that in about five weeks."
To appear on the ballot as a petition candidate, Henderson was required by state law to collect signatures from at least 5 percent -- or 4,720 -- of the county's 94,393 registered voters by July 15.
About two hours before the deadline, Henderson submitted a 1,043-page petition with 9,690 signatures to the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections for certification. The signatures were certified by county officials last month.