UPDATED: Patterson is no longer running unopposed. David R. Jones announced his candidacy for City Council Ward 4 on February 28, 2023. Please refer to this article published by Easley Citizen for more information about Dr. Jones.
Gene Patterson, a six-year resident of ward 4 in Easley, officially announced his candidacy for Easley City Council on February 17. A special election will be held April 25, 2023 to fill the vacancy left by the passing of councilman Terry Moore at the end of January.
Patterson retired from a 34 year law enforcement “calling” in 2017 at the age of 52. He spent 29 of those years working at the Easley Police Department. Beginning as uniform patrol, Patterson gradually worked his way up the ladder to Captain of the Detective Division. In fact, Gene worked with the late Terry Moore at the police department.
Patterson considered councilman Moore as a dear friend. As the councilman’s illness progressed over six months, and the prognosis became more grim, Gene realized that his friend may not live to the end of his term. Even though he describes himself as someone who normally shies away from politics, choosing to keep up with, but get involved in local issues, Patterson began wondering about the future leadership of his district.
“When I worked for the police department, I had a purpose, and felt like I was making a difference,” he said. ” When I moved here, the entire community adopted me. After a lot of prayer, I saw this as my second calling. An opportunity to serve the community. I’m not looking to replace Terry, I want to build on his legacy.”
If elected, Patterson hopes to build on the foundation that Terry Moore laid in the City Council. He is dedicated to the city and the first responders. He believes the city has been doing a good job keeping up with the growth. He wants to continue making sure that city growth goes along with the supporting infrastructure.
The first item on the agenda would be to get input from the residents of ward 4.
“If it’s their concern, I want them to let me know so it could be my concern. We’re all in because we want to serve,” he says. He wants to remain non-partisan as leader in the community. He believes that citizens should vote for the candidates that will best serve them, and not based on the party a candidate is part of.
Patterson married his wife Sabrina after his retirement in 2018. Between them, they have three grown daughters. As empty-nesters, they describe themselves as homebodies still in their honeymoon phase. They love to cook and bake, and gift what they make to others. They’re known for dropping food off at the Easley Police Department, or in their friends’ mailboxes.
“I live in the best place in the world, with the best person in the world.”
Gene Patterson is currently running unopposed, though any prospective candidates have until noon Friday, March 3rd, to file as a candidate. Even if he is unopposed after the deadline, the ward will still hold the election. This allows the citizens to vote for a write-in that they want to elect.
Every vote really does count in these small special elections. For example, at the last election, Terry Moore won with just 88 votes. The ward voter turn-out was less than 3%. If residents want to make a real difference, this is a real opportunity for their voices to be heard, and their votes to be counted. To increase voter turnout, Patterson encourages everyone to check their voter registration to check if they live in Ward 4. He hopes that everyone registered to vote in Ward 4 will come out and vote on April 25th.
Here are some important resources to make sure you can vote on April 25, 2023:
Contact Information for absentee ballot requests:
Pickens County Board of Voter Registration & Elections
222 McDaniel Avenue B-9
Pickens SC 29671
Phone: (864) 898-5948 or (864) 898-5949