A Republican will be the next Aiken County Council chairman , and the race for the seat will be settled in the Aug. 22 primary.
Filing ended Friday with no new challengers to three GOP candidates who had already announced their intentions – District 7 County Councilman Andrew Siders, District 4 Councilman Chuck Smith and former Councilman Gary Bunker.
One of them will win outright in the primary, or if no one gets a majority – at least 50 percent plus one vote –the two top-finishers will meet again in a runoff on Sept. 5.
Because no candidates from another party qualified, there will be no need to hold the general election that had been scheduled for Oct. 24.
But if Siders or Smith win, there will have to be another special election to fill the balance of the vacant council term. Siders’ and Smith’s terms run through 2020.
The council chairman’s seat became vacant when Ronnie Young won election to fill the District 84 state House seat vacated by Chris Corley, who resigned in January after being arraigned on a charge of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. He pleaded not guilty.
The charge is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Corley, who had been suspended from the state House, also has been indicted on a charge of pointing and presenting a firearm at his wife, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine.
Corley is also accused of punching his wife in the face and head and threatening to kill her on Dec 26. An Aiken County Sheriff’s Office report stated that the incident occurred in front of the couple’s children.