Henderson ends Joy Logan's 20-year hold on treasurer's office

Doug Henderson, right, gets a congratulatory hug Tuesday night at the Cat Island Grill and Pub at the Sanctuary Golf Club.
Doug Henderson, right, gets a congratulatory hug Tuesday night at the Cat Island Grill and Pub at the Sanctuary Golf Club.

When county officials called on Beaufort County Treasurer Joy Logan to resign earlier this year after one of her former employees was charged with embezzlement, Logan claimed only county voters could decide when it was time for her to leave office.

On Tuesday, they did just that.

Doug Henderson, a 66-year-old Cat Island resident who entered the race in July as a petition candidate, defeated Logan with 63 percent of the vote with all but absentee and fail-safe precincts counted, according to unofficial results from the S.C. Election Commission.

"It's a strange feeling," Henderson said. "Having never before run for elected office, I wasn't sure what to expect, but to see all of these volunteers ... and know the effort they put into getting me elected is very gratifying. This is about how I thought it would go today."

Logan was not yet ready to concede the race just past 11 p.m., despite trailing by nearly 10,000 votes.

"We're still waiting on the final numbers," Logan said. "All I can say is that myself and all of the people who have worked so hard to help make this county a better place for the last 20 years ... have plans in place to make more improvements if I'm re-elected."

A native of Spartanburg, Henderson spent 35 years in the banking industry, including brief stints in Beaufort with S.C. Federal Savings Bank and First Citizen's Bank and Trust of South Carolina. He retired in 2002.

Henderson was among three men who launched petition drives this summer to oppose Logan, who came under fire following the May 12 arrest of former Treasurer's Office employee Casaundra White. White was accused of funneling more than $210,000 between September 2007 and May 2008 to dummy corporations she set up along with her ex-boyfriend, Adrian Coore.

Later that month, county administrator Gary Kubic called on Logan to resign, and County Council passed a resolution asking her to do the same. In June, an independent, largely critical audit of the Treasurer's Office was made public.

Henderson was the only potential petition candidate to collect the 4,270 signatures required by state law to appear on Tuesday's ballot.

Henderson is the first opponent Logan has faced since she defeated former county administrator Michael O'Neill in the 1990 Republican primary.

Henderson won't take office until July 1, according to state law. The date coincides with the beginning of the fiscal year.

Before he begins his four-year term as treasurer, Henderson said he hopes to visit other counties to get a feel for his new job.

"I just want to go around and see the way other counties do things," Henderson said. "If they're doing something better than we are, then that's something I want to be aware of when we walk in the door on that first day."