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Aynor mayor resigns to focus on business interest

jlee@thesunnews

The mayor of Aynor resigned Wednesday to focus on a business venture unrelated to his office.

Kerry “Keb” Johnson, who had served as mayor since January 2012, said he wanted to step out of the role and pour all his efforts into his booming golf cart refurnishing and selling business, which he started last summer.

“It’s exploded, and I didn’t have enough time to do both the way they needed to be done,” he said of his dual role of business owner and mayor.

Johnson said he loved heading up the town, home to roughly 600 residents, and the decision to give up the post was a tough one.

“I’ve truly loved it. I love Aynor and it was hard decision,” he said.

When Johnson started Palmetto Chrome Specialist on Ninth Avenue in Aynor, he had no idea it would take off the way it did, he said; otherwise, he wouldn’t have sought re-election last year.

Johnson, who ran unopposed in each election, has served as mayor for three terms. An election to fill the vacant post will be held in about a month, officials said.

Councilman Chris Shelley, who was elected mayor pro tem last year, will serve until a new mayor is elected.

Johnson announced his resignation Wednesday and it was effective immediately, Shelley said.

Shelley, who has served on town council in Aynor for about nine years, said he wasn’t sure if he would seek election to take on the lead role.

“Right now everything has been moving so fast. I haven’t had time to think about it,” Shelley said.

Councilman Tony Godsey Sr. said he wasn’t surprised by Johnson’s resignation because he knew Johnson wanted to focus on business. He also said he didn’t know if anyone wanted to run in an upcoming election to hold the position for the rest of Johnson’s term.

“Being as fast as it was no one’s really expressed an interest yet,” Godsey said.

Elizabeth Townsend: 843-626-0217, @TSN_etownsend

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