Beaufort Today -

Owens went ‘back to basics’ to win Port Royal council seat

  • Owens

Darryl Owens went back to basics in his second run for Port Royal Town Council, winning a seat with 50.64 percent of the vote in the May 16 special election.

Owens will fill the seat that became vacant when Councilman Vernon DeLoach died in February. He will have to run again in November when the seat will once again be up for election.

Owens’ first run for council was in 2015, but it was unsuccessful. He currently works as chief of operations for the Jasper County School District.

“It went extremely well, better than anticipated,” Owens said May 17 after his victory. “The special election turnout was low. However, I put forth more effort, going door to door and having staffers strategically placed. We went back to basics.”

Owens said he went door to door with other candidates in his first attempt to win a seat, whereas this time he went on his own.

“The focus needed to be on the individual candidate doing campaigning and not in groups,” he said. “I think this helped to make a difference this time.”

While Owens was pleased with the results, he wanted to make sure he congratulated the other candidates on a good campaign.

“They ran a great race,” Owens said. “There was no animosity among any of the candidates and it was a good race. It exemplifies what Port Royal really is, a caring community.”

Owens received 159 votes, followed by Patty Crower with 85, Bob Ellis with 55 and Marjorie Lamb with 15, according to official results released Thursday.

“It is important to look at attracting new businesses that will fit into the scheme of Port Royal and not compromise our small town,” Owens said. “It is important not to neglect current residents and make sure they all continue to have access to affordable housing. We want to keep our residents here while also growing as a town.”

Owens said he plans to serve citizens like he has done as a member of many community organizations.

“I am graciously humbled by the support of those who came out and voted and for the support given,” he said. “I am always approachable and look forward to serving the citizens.”

Two candidates said they could make another run at the seat in November while another is ready to challenge Owens again.

“Darryl Owens ran a campaign where he received over 50 percent of the vote and I commend him for a great campaign and congratulate him,” Crower said. “My job now is to be supportive of Town Council. … I may consider a run for a seat, but I am not sure at this point.”

Ellis said he might run in November, but for now he will continue serve on the town’s zoning and appeals committee.

“Darryl Owens is a really good guy and he will do a really good job for the town,” Ellis said. “I am a little disappointed in the results, but I enjoyed all the meet and greets and it was really nice to receive the support. The best part of the election was that everyone got along and the campaigning was nice.”

Lamb, who along with Crower and Ellis was a first-time candidate, said she plans to run again.

“I need to get out on the ground a little more, meeting and talking to people,” she said. “This election was quick and it was a quick learning curve for me. I look forward to running in November.”