The filing period for the city of Aiken's November election opened Monday, and three people – two incumbents included – have since submitted their paperwork.
Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon, a Republican, and City Council member Gail Diggs, a Democrat, filed as candidates at noon and 1 p.m., respectively. They both are seeking reelection.
Diggs represents District 1, a jigsaw tract in the city's northeastern quadrant.
Jeremy Stevens, a Republican, also entered the District 1 race Monday. He filed shortly after Diggs.
Osbon was accompanied by Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker and City Council member Ed Girardeau. Girardeau quickly put some weight behind Osbon: "I think he's a great mayor."
Osbon has served as mayor for four years now.
Diggs was accompanied by a clutch of supporters and had campaign signs ready to go. There was a standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Aiken County Democratic Party headquarters for her filing.
"She loves her community," Aiken City Council member Lessie Price said of Diggs. "She enjoys serving."
Stevens – who has never held political office – was accompanied by Sean Pumphrey, a Republican candidate in the S.C. House District 84 special election.
"It's going to be fun," Stevens said, adding that a good race is good for the city. Diggs has represented District 1 for eight years.
City Council comprises seven members. Six are elected to represent single-member districts, and the mayor is elected at large.
Three seats on City Council are up for grabs this year: mayor as well as districts 1 and 3.
District 3 is currently represented by City Council member Dick Dewar, who in April indicated he would not seek reelection. No one filed for Dewar's seat on Monday.
Dewar's district includes a swath of land south of Richland Avenue West and a wandering stretch of land split by part of the Aiken bypass.
Voters living in Aiken's first district will vote for two people: one for mayor, one for District 1. Voters living in Aiken's third district will vote for two people, as well: one for mayor, one for District 3. All city voters can vote in the mayoral race.
The candidate filing period ends July 8.
Municipal party primaries and conventions are scheduled for Aug. 13. Runoffs, if necessary, will be Aug. 27.
The general election will be held Nov. 5. The last day to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 7.