Deadline passes, still no candidate for Aiken Co. town’s mayor seat

New Ellenton mayor
The deadline has come and gone, and New Ellenton does not have any candidates for mayor. The city may have to rely on petition to encourage someone to run. (WRDW-TV / March 29, 2012)
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, March 29, 2012

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. -- It's a seat that long-time New Ellenton resident Elaine Mills wouldn't even think about running for.

"If I [were] to run for mayor, I would have to be crazy enough to go to the insane asylum,” she joked.

For whatever reason, no one else has signed up to run, either.

"New Ellenton has two positions up because of resignations. That's the mayor and a town council seat,” said Executive Director of Aiken County Registration and Elections Cynthia Holland.

The deadline for candidates to file was this past Monday, but no one stepped up to the plate. Holland said she'd never seen that happen before.

"I'm a new director, but I've worked with registration and elections for over 10 years, and this is the first time that I know of,” she said.

She says one of two things will have to happen. For starters, parties can choose a candidate through petition.

"You have to get 70 signatures, which would be 5 percent of the 1,400 registered voters in the city limits,” she said.

Or they can just choose a write-in candidate.

"The place is so corrupt, if you get a good one in there, they're going to go corrupt too,” Mills said.

Mills has her theories as to why no one's signed up to run so far. She just hopes a new mayor will help straighten up New Ellenton with strong leadership.

But if that can't happen to the city she's lost faith in ...

"Dig it up, bury it and start all over again, or turn it over to Aiken County and let them run it,” she said, half jokingly.

News 12 spoke with the Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Braswell as well. He said they're close to petitioning former City Councilman Rex Nordeen to run for mayor. He says past mayors there just haven't had time for the city, but Nordeen will be different. He can dedicate all his time to making the city better, and Braswell says Nordeen also has a firm grip on being fiscally responsible.