Special election Tuesday to fill Beaufort City Council seat

Three candidates with distinct backgrounds will be on the ballot Tuesday when voters take to the polls to fill a vacancy on Beaufort City Council.

Larry Holman, George O'Kelley and Ron Petit are vying to complete the term of Beaufort City Councilman Gary Fordham, who died in April. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Fordham's term, which expires in 2012.

Beaufort's council consists of five nonpartisan members -- four council members who serve staggered four-year terms, and a mayor, also elected every four years. All members are elected at-large.

Council members receive an annual stipend of $4,800.

Holman, 63, is president of the Beaufort Black Chamber of Commerce. He ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for one of two at-large seats, which were won by incumbents Mike Sutton and Donnie Beer.

O'Kelley, 69, was first elected to the council in the late 1970s but resigned to become a municipal judge. He held that post from 1996 until his resignation in 2003, after an investigation revealed he had reduced 55 parking tickets, including 16 issued to his wife, to "warnings." O'Kelley was reprimanded by the state Supreme Court in September 2004, less than two months before he was elected to a seat on the Beaufort City Council. During that term, he served as mayor pro tempore and briefly was acting mayor after Mayor Bill Rauch resigned in July 2008. O'Kelley did not seek re-election later that year.

Ron Petit, 70, is retired from the Air Force and a federal civil service employee. He ran unsuccessfully against O'Kelley and four others for two at-large City Council seats in 2004.