Collett, Racusin decline to endorse a candidate

Former Hilton Head Island mayoral candidate Jim Collett and Ben Racusin, the town's first mayor, said Thursday they will not endorse one of the two runoff candidates.

"We talked that the race for mayor has benefited the whole town by putting important issues before the public," Collett said, declining to explain the reason for their decision.

"We still have a debate coming up on Monday. It's a chance for everyone to look at these two guys as two instead of seven. With seven people, you never really had a chance to fully develop a thought. With two candidates you can focus in on their issues and compare them much more effectively," he said.

Drew Laughlin, an attorney and Town Council member, collected about 32 percent of the vote in the seven-way race. Tom Crews, an architect and town Planning Commissioner, had about 25 percent, according to unofficial results.

The winner of the Nov. 16 runoff will replace Mayor Tom Peeples, who did not seek re-election.

The League of Women Voters will sponsor a debate Monday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.