Napier handily wins District 6 County Council seat
Graniteville native Phil Napier will be returning to serve on Aiken County Council after handily winning the March 26 general election for District 6.
The former Councilman, who served from 1999 to 2002, was the only candidate listed on the ballot, leading to a relatively uncontested victory.
Cynthia Holland, executive director of the county's Registration and Elections office, said there was a fair voter turnout for a special election with only one name on the ballot.
Napier received 477 votes overall, while 70 write-in votes were cast for four different candidates. District 6 resident Joya DiStefano received the most votes for any write-in candidate, garnering 63 votes overall. No Democratic candidate filed for the seat.
Napier, who serves as GVW Fire Chief and owns a hardware store in Graniteville, expressed relief after receiving word that he had clinched Tuesday's election.
"I'm glad it's over, and I'm ready to serve the taxpayers of Aiken County," Napier said. "I want to try to see that District 6 has representation and listen to the taxpayers and constituents of District 6 and find out what their needs are.
"Despite being the only name listed on Tuesday's ballot, he said he still tried to put together a concerted effort to bring out voters.
"I didn't take anything for granted. I still got out and worked," he explained. "I feel like it paid off."
He offered gratitude to his supporters and thanked all the voters that came out for the special election.
He indicated that it should be an easy transition back into County Council chambers after previously serving for four years.
"I just want to go out and work with everyone on Council and work for the good of the taxpayers of Aiken County," he said. "I go on Council with no hard feelings toward anyone, and I go with an open mind that we can work as a team to make things better."
One of his main priorities, he said, will be promoting the development of projects in rural areas of the county without raising taxes.
County Councilman Chuck Smith, who represents North Augusta, said he looks forward to working alongside Napier, adding he's "passionate" about issues facing the community.
"I know he'll represent the people of Graniteville with distinction," he said.County Councilman Sandy Haskell, who also represents North Augusta, said he hopes to work with Napier on issues facing the county, especially since their districts share a common boundary.
"I've known him through the fire department and for a number of years," Haskell said. "He is very dedicated to community service from his time in the Belvedere Fire Department and from county council in the past and look forward to working with him again."