Beaufort to hold special election

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A special election will be held July 19 to fill the Beaufort City Council seat left vacant with longtime leader Gary Fordham’s passing.

The filing deadline is noon Saturday, June 4, for candidates interested in the position. The Beaufort City Council approved the required resolution last Tuesday evening.

Fordham, whose term expires in 2012, passed away last week and his funeral was held Tuesday, April 26. He had said he wouldn’t seek re-election to the council seat he’d held for 12 years. Beaufort City Council seats are non-partisan and elected at large, meaning all registered voters in the city will be able to participate in the special election.

“As we celebrate our city’s 300th birthday and are busy making plans for the next hundred years, the role of City Council’s leadership is critical,” said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.

“Gary brought a lot of wisdom and experience to the table, but he always encouraged others to get involved. We are hoping voters will have a good slate of qualified, committed and engaged candidates for the summer election,” he said.

Interested candidates must submit their signed paperwork to the Beaufort County Election Commission by noon on June 4 and pay the $150 filing fee. The filing essentially should say: “I hereby file notice that I am a candidate for election to the office of Council member in the special municipal election to be held on July 19, 2011. I certify that I am a qualified elector and resident of the City of Beaufort.”

City Council members are paid $4,800 annually. The council typically meets three times monthly on Tuesdays at Beaufort City Hall, 1911 Boundary St. For more information about Beaufort City Council, visit www.cityofbeaufort.org.