Editorials

Go to polls today to vote for Hilton Head mayor

Hilton Head Island voters have an important job today: Return to the polls to vote in the mayoral runoff.

Those who could have voted for one of seven candates in the Nov. 2 election, but didn't, can redeem themselves by participating today.

On the ballot are Drew Laughlin, who led the first round with 31 percent of the vote, and Tom Crews, who received 25 percent.

Throughout the campaign, candidates have appeared at numerous forums, answering questions on issues facing Hilton Head.

In addition to news stories, our coverage includes interviews with our editorial board, a questionnaire filled out by the candidates and our recommendation for Drew Laughlin in the general election. Go to islandpacket.com to see them all.

Overall, Hilton Head saw 49 percent of its voters turn out on Election Day. Sixteen of 28 precincts had more than 50 percent turnout. The highest was 60.2 percent; the lowest, 30.8 percent. That's good as far as most elections go, but we can and should do better.

We last saw a runoff for Hilton Head mayor in 1995, when Tom Peeples faced Kate Keep, both then serving on Town Council. Peeples won and began his 15-year stint as mayor, which ends next month. He was the first mayor under 60, the first who wasn't retired and the first who hailed from the Lowcountry. In 2001, Peeples faced three opponents, but won with 56 percent of the vote.

The next mayor, the only person on Town Council who represents the entire island, has a big job ahead as the council explores and defines its role in shaping Hilton Head's economic future.

Don't leave the decision about who that will be to someone else. Play your part in shaping Hilton Head's future.

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