Election numbers available before deadline showed Don Wells ahead of Jane Vaughters Tuesday night for the S.C. House District 81 seat which solely covers Aiken County.
With just a few precincts left unreported, Wells was ahead with 66 percent with 7,241 votes. Vaughters had 3,678 votes cast for her. Results from the precincts not yet reported are not expected to be counted and released until sometime Wednesday, according to an Aiken County Elections official.
Wells was contacted Tuesday evening with the results thus far but did not want comment until the final results were in.
Vaughters said Tuesday night that she just wanted to thank all who helped her become a petition candidate.
Wells, R-Aiken, is serving his second term as an at-large member of City Council – he was first elected in 2005. Vaughters, who was a petition candidate for the seat, served on Council for eight years, having first been elected in 2001.
The House District 81 seat is currently held by Rep. Tom Young who ran uncontested for the Senate District 24 seat Tuesday – longtime Senator Greg Ryberg retired this year.
If Wells wins the seat, that leaves an at-large spot on Council open starting as soon as he's sworn in. A special election would be held in March for the at-large seat but when the term expires in 2013, it then would be a single-district seat.
The City of Aiken was pre-cleared by the Justice Department which allows them to go from the current four single-member districts and two at-large format and makes them all single-districts leaving the Mayor at large.
Wells received a business degree from Tennessee Temple University and owns Park Avenue Paints.
He's a member of Aiken Rotary Club and Millbrook Baptist Church.
Vaughters received a degree in English from Southern Methodist University, and she is the business manager at her family's medical practice office.
She is a member of First Presbyterian Church.