Elections

4 candidates running for Hilton Head mayor’s old Town Council seat in today’s election

New Hilton Head Town Council member Tamara Becker joins re-elected member Bill Harkins, newly-elected mayor John McCann, Town Manager Steve Riley and council member Marc Grant on Dec. 4 for their first time on the dias together. Not pictured: re-elected council member Tom Lennox and council member David Ames.
New Hilton Head Town Council member Tamara Becker joins re-elected member Bill Harkins, newly-elected mayor John McCann, Town Manager Steve Riley and council member Marc Grant on Dec. 4 for their first time on the dias together. Not pictured: re-elected council member Tom Lennox and council member David Ames. Katherine Kokal, The Island Packet.

When John McCann was sworn in as mayor of Hilton Head on Dec. 4, he vacated his seat on Town Council, where he has represented Ward 6 since 2012.

The special election to fill McCann’s seat is Feb. 19.

Only residents of Ward 6 may vote in the special election.

Ward 6 comprises portions of the north end of the island, including Port Royal Plantation, Palmetto Hall and part of Hilton Head Plantation. You can check your ward and precinct information here.

The winner of the election will serve until 2020 — the end of McCann’s term.

Here are the candidates.

Kent Berry

Berry, 61, moved from Bluffton to Hilton Head in 2011. He has lived in Beaufort County for 29 years after he moved to the Lowcountry from Raleigh, N.C. He is a branch manager at Ocean Woods Landscaping, and lives in the Folly Field area.

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Berry filed to run for the Ward 6 seat in 2016 against McCann, but withdrew due to work-related time constraints.

He said he wants to work on increasing transportation efficiency and re-imagining vacant commercial building use on Hilton Head. Berry also said he would focus on the town’s relationship with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

“I think there needs to be some discussion with (Sheriff P.J.) Tanner so we can just kind of get back to square one,” Berry said. “I don’t think we need to be in an adversarial relationship going forward.”

Berry filed around noon on Dec. 7, according to his statement of candidacy form.

Jim Collett

Collett, 71, moved to Hilton Head in 2000 from Crofton, Md., where he worked as a corporate planner for Verizon. He and his wife, Marcia, live in Hilton Head Plantation.

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Jim Collett, Ward 6 candidate for Hilton Head Town Council. Submitted


Collett is the chairman of Volunteers in Medicine, and said he wants to represent Ward 6 so he can help “improve telecommunications on the island” such as WiFi and cell service. He also said he wants to focus on transportation and workforce housing issues.

Collett ran for mayor in 2010. Now, he hopes to help bring the council together.

“We need some reconciliation of our town council,” he said. “I mean it’s been a lot of one group against the other.”

Collett filed around noon on Dec. 7, according to his statement of candidacy form.

Cathy McClellan

McClellan, 63, retired to Hilton Head in 2017 after vacationing on the island for nearly 15 years. She moved from Baltimore where she worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration and as civil rights and dispute resolution attorney. McClellan lives in Fiddler’s Cove.

She ran for Beaufort County Council this year and lost to Lawrence McElynn.

McClellan said she wants to advocate for responsible growth while protecting the island’s character and “look at the big picture” on Town Council when it comes to workforce issues.

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“There’s a lot of things that go into workforce development,” she said. “It’s not just housing but transportation, wages, economic opportunities and other things that affect (the workforce).”

She said she hopes to focus on retaining young residents and encouraging new voices in the island’s leadership.

“I think it’s important to have more women in government,” McClellan said. “Being so much of the population, we need different voices. We need gender diversity and other forms of diversity on council.”

McClellan filed on Dec. 13, according to the town records department.

Glenn Stanford

Stanford, 75, has lived on Hilton Head full-time since 2006 after vacationing on the island as a teenager. He moved from Atlanta where he was a lawyer in a private practice. He lives in Hilton Head Plantation and was the chairman of the town’s board of zoning appeals.

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Stanford sits on the town’s planning commission and said he wants to continue working on solving workforce housing issues on the island and improve the safety of crosswalks.

Stanford also said that he believes Mitchelville, the site of the country’s first freedmen’s community, “can and should be” one of the “great stories of the United States.”

“I love this community,” Stanford said. “I want to see more of a focus on the residents of Hilton Head versus (a focus on) tourists.”

Stanford filed around noon on Dec. 7, according to his statement of candidacy form.

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