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Rincon sets Sept. 19 special election to fill vacant city council seat
Ballot box

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald

At its regular meeting on July 24, the Rincon City Council set the date for a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Damon Rahn, who resigned in June.

The special election will be held Sept. 19. The only item on this ballot will be Rahn’s seat, which will be for the remaining two years of his term.

The filing fee for this special election was set at $90 and the filing period is two-and-a-half days, Aug. 15-17.

The city council mulled the idea of combining the election for Rahn’s seat with the November municipal election on Nov. 7, but thought it would confuse voters since three seats for full four-year terms would be on that ballot. Rincon’s city council members are all at-large and do not run in districts. The top three vote-getters will be elected to serve those four-year terms.

“I understand for convenience sake, (November) would be easier. However, I also understand that we’re down one councilmember,” Mayor Ken Lee said. “If we have the election in September, that person can go ahead and start. The people need a representative. It will be a little bit inconvenient, but I think it's important.”

Lee added that the new person elected in September could start right away and be part of the city’s budget process. The councilmembers elected for full terms in November would start in January 2024.

“We may have only one person qualify,” Councilmember Jesse Blackwell said. “So we may end up not having an election.”

In addition to municipal elections, the Nov. 7 election will be the county-wide Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) initiative. Details of proposed TSPLOST-funded projects throughout the county will be released soon.