In the final local election of 2016, Steve Corley soundly defeated Randy Black in the runoff for the Sumter City Council Ward 4 seat Tuesday.
Fueled by strong support in the city’s historical district in an election that saw very light turnout, Corley garnered nearly two-thirds of Tuesday’s ballots, receiving 264 votes to Black’s 135.
Less than 3.6 percent of registered voters within the ward participated in the municipal election. In fact, turnout was so light that four of the split precincts within the ward – Mulberry, Burns-Downs, Magnolia-Harmony, and Shaw – had no votes cast on Election Day.
For the precincts that actually had voters participate, the results were – Folsom Park: Black 11, Corley 2; Swan Lake: Corley 104, Black 16; Morris College: Black 31, Corley 10; Hampton Park: Corley 106, Black 8; Crosswell: Black 29, Corley 17; Loring: Black 4, Corley 3; South Liberty: Corley 3, Black 2. In addition, Black received 30 absentee, compared to Corley’s 19. All four of the failsafe ballots cast were for Black, as well.
Two weeks ago, Corley led the group of four candidates vying for the city council seat, earning 34.5 percent of the vote, while Black had 24.7 percent. Unlike many other general election races, however, Sumter municipal election law requires a candidate receive a majority of the votes, forcing the runoff.
Election results will be certified at 2 p.m. Wednesday, and barring any unforeseen challenges to the results, Corley will soon replace outgoing councilwoman Colleen Yates and begin his four-year term.