COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the race for District II begins, candidates for the seat have already begun to step forward.
Four candidates have officially stepped forward to throw their hat into the ring: Antonio Williams, Harold "Puff" Howard, Brian DeQuency Newman and Alex Furgess.
While legal challenges have already begun to block the race from occurring on April 6 due to the lack of time between the seat's vacancy and the actual election, Howard, Furgess and Newman support the race's short time span.
Each of the candidates also said they believe E.W. Cromartie has been an effective leader for District II, but they believe it's time to move in a new direction.
Alex Furgess is a retired teacher and currently president of her neighborhood association. She's lived in District II for 8 years and says she wants to make decisions best for her community and the entire city with her priorities being fully funding public safety and improving code enforcement.
Puff Howard runs his family's garage and towing business. He was born and raised in District II and has lived there his entire life. He says his top priorities would be crime prevention and improving public safety.
Brian DeQuincey Newman is an attorney who's lived in District II for four years. He says he wants to use his background as a prosecutor to fight gang activity and his number one goal would be protecting public safety resources, making the district and city a safer place to work and live.
A new candidate, Antonio Williams, just filed Monday. He says he's an entrepreneur with a background in construction. He's lived in the district his entire life and if elected would focus on creating jobs and economic growth.
Williams was originally running for the at-large seat, but ended his candidacy to file for the newly-vacant seat. He is the only candidate who has run for council before, he mounted unsuccessful campaigns in 2004 & 2006.
Williams faced controversy because his record includes 1990 convictions for burglary and grand larceny.