Deputies investigate claim N. Charleston mayoral candidate ‘verbally assaulted’ voter

VIDEO: Deputies investigate claim N. Charleston mayoral candidate ‘verbally assaulted’ voter

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A North Charleston woman gave Charleston County deputies video of an incident she claims shows a mayoral candidate verbally assaulting her at a polling place.

The alleged incident happened on election day at Miner Crosby Community Center between a voter, John Singletary, and his supporters, according to a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office incident report. Deputies are now investigating the claims.

“The video showed [the voter] asking Mr. Singletary if he was John Singletary where he stated that she was barking up the wrong tree, ‘you don’t work for anybody,' and you aren’t even on the registered list to be here ‘but you need to shut your mouth, don’t bark up my tree," the incident report said. The voter then responded, “You’d make a great mayor.”

A verbal disagreement between the candidate and the voter continued, and the report said Singletary then pulled out his phone.

The incident report does not state when the voter started recording video of the alleged incident. In a 911 call, Charleston County Board of Elections Director Joe Debney asked a dispatcher for some help.

“We have an issue at one of our polling locations where we just need a sheriff’s deputy to just go out and de-escalate candidates,” Debney says. “We just need he or she to de-escalate the candidates getting up in each others faces.”

“[The voter] stated the incident originally started because when she attempted to walk into the building to vote she was blocked by [two Singletary supporters] who were telling her to vote for their choice,” the report said. “She stated that she was unable to pass them in order to enter the building.”

Singletary and his supporters then claim the voter used a racial slur against one of them. The voter denied saying that and told deputies she said, “a black lady was blocking the way.”

One of Singletary’s supporters then said the voter was “friends with Mayor Summey’s daughter.” That claim has not yet been verified. Deputies have logged the voter’s video into evidence and continue their investigation.

Singletary said Thursday he was only there to diffuse the situation. He denies verbally assaulting the video.

It comes after the Dorchester County Election Commission opened another investigation into Singletary. He was accused of making inappropriate comments to a poll worker on Tuesday. Singletary denied this and said he welcomed an investigation into those allegations.

“If Dorchester County is doing an investigation, which anyone filing a protest, based on what they said were inappropriate comments by me, then why would they not do the protest investigation, because people were denied the right to vote," he said.

Mayor Keith Summey won Tuesday night’s election with 49 percent of the vote. Singletary came in second with 31 percent.

Singletary claims there was voter suppression in this election and plans on protesting it.

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