SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The unofficial results for the race for Sullivan's Island mayor are in, and Mike Perkis is the winner.
According to poll workers, Perkis finished with 457 votes to defeat Mayor Carl Smith, who garnered 427 votes. Smith had decided not to run, before being convinced very late in the process, and running as a write-in candidate.
The results will be made official on Thursday.
Nearly 60% of registered voters on Sullivan's Island cast ballots Tuesday.
"I never done a write in before," said Sumter Debrux. "I did today."
"I was ready to let it go and retire but they weren't ready to let me go," said Smith. "I didn't decide anything the folks did. They said if we write you in and you win will you serve and I said yes I will do that."
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Perkis has been there since the outset.
"When Carl said he wasn't going to run I decided somebody had to step forward," said Perkis, but he wasn't expecting signs for the current Mayor to start popping up on the island in the last month of the race.
"I found out about two and a half weeks ago," said Perkis. "They re-looked at it and said Carl, or anybody, was allowed to write in and I'm fine with that. That's democracy. Everybody should have the chance to run and everyone should have the chance to vote."
And Sullivan's Islanders were thrilled to have the choice no matter the candidate they support.
"It's a real indication of the democratic process here on Sullivan's Island," said Apple.
Voters said one of the biggest, and possibly the only real, differences between the candidates is where they side on the issue of the new Sullivan's Island Elementary School.
Voters supporting Mayor Smith say he's looking into drafting a smaller school and is a proponent of allowing residents on the island a chance to vote on the school's future size.
Perkis said the way the plan is now, for a school to be built to hold 500 students, is the only option the Island has in regards to the growing population.