080317 Pawleys Island: Candidate gets early start in mayor’s race
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Pawleys Island: Candidate gets early start in mayor’s race

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

There are three kinds of decisions, says Jimmy Braswell: right ones, wrong ones and indecision. “Indecision will kill you,” he said.

Braswell filed to run for Pawleys Island mayor within the first hour after the books opened on Tuesday. As of Wednesday, he was the only candidate to file for mayor. Pawleys Island Mayor Bill Otis announced earlier this year he will step down after 20 years in office.

“A number of people came up to me and basically said, ‘we’d like you to run,’” said Braswell. He was appointed to the town Planning Commission in 2015 to fill a seat vacated when Rocky Holliday was elected to Town Council.

Holliday said earlier he plans to run again. So does Mike Adams, the mayor pro tem. Council members Ashley Carter and Sarah Zimmerman filed Wednesday in the nonpartisan elections.

Braswell, a North Carolina native, began coming to Pawleys Island for vacations in the 1980s. He was working in the textile industry in Atlanta. Even a move south to Mississippi didn’t deter the family. “We had to be there for the Fourth of July,” he said.

He and his wife Anne bought a house on Atlantic Avenue in 2001 and moved to the island full time in 2014.

Braswell’s platform is to keep the island the way it is. Having a full-time administrator has changed the mayor’s role. That made his decision easier. “Nobody can replace Bill,” he said.

Filing continues through noon on Aug. 15 and Braswell said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of competition.

The town last held an election in 2003. State law allows municipalities to forgo an election if the number of candidates is equal to the number of positions. That law will change next year, said Donna Mahn, the director of Georgetown County Registration and Elections.

And while the 2003 vote was held in the old Town Hall, and used paper ballots, if there is an election this year, it will be at the Pawleys Island Community Church and use voting machines. The church is the polling place for the Pawleys Island 2 precinct, which includes the town.

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