Singer, Young to enter runoff

Voters in S.C. House District 81 will be headed to the polls again in two weeks after the leading candidate in the four-man race failed to get more than 50 percent of the vote. Tom Young’s opponent in the runoff will be Scott Singer, with whom he shared the lion’s share of support from voters Tuesday.

After a hotly contested campaign, Singer received 2,223 votes or 38.2 percent while Young received 2,728 votes or 46.9 percent of the vote. The difference between the two candidates stood at just 505 votes in the unofficial final tally released Tuesday. The runoff election will decide who will replace Rep. Skipper Perry after he retires as there is no Democratic opposition in the race. Also running for the District 81 seat, Brad Boni received 13 percent of the vote while John Kelly pulled in 1.75 percent.

Supporters for every candidate huddled in Aiken County Council chambers Tuesday to record results as they were announced.

Young said as soon as the final results were announced, he congratulated Singer on being the candidate he will face in the runoff.

“We were planning on a runoff,” Young said. “We are appreciative of our supporters.”
Young added he felt he had run a strong campaign despite the “negative attacks” that have surfaced in the past six weeks. Now is not the time to relax, he said, but to continue and strengthen his campaign.

Singer also said he was going to “keep on doing what I’ve been doing.”
“I’ve run an honest, straightforward, issue-based campaign. Now, we can get rid of the sideshow and concentrate on the qualifications, vision and experience of the candidates,” he said.

Though he is now out of the election, Boni said he could not comment Tuesday night on whether he will throw his support behind either remaining candidate. He did say, however, he was meeting with both Singer and Young today. Kelly could not be reached for comment.
Retiring Rep. Perry said he was proud of the hard work Young had put into his campaign.

“I think he ran a good race. I’m looking forward to the runoff. I thought I was the hardest working candidate until I ran into Tom,” he said.

The Aiken Standard
By Haley Hughes
June 11, 2008

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