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Greenville Business Magazine

Greenville Business Owner Paula Fulghum Withdraws From Mayoral Race

May 31, 2023 12:19PM ● By Donna Walker

Paula Fulghum, a Greenville business owner, announced on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, that she is withdrawing from the mayoral race because her petition drive will not earn enough signatures by the Friday deadline. 

Over the past five weeks, Fulghum has worked to obtain 2,500 signatures in a petition drive that would have secured a third-party spot on the ballot for the November election. 

“I want to thank all those who have put their faith in me and my message that we need to do more to protect Greenville from unbridled growth,” Fulghum said in a statement released Wednesday. “I want my supporters to know I am not giving up my passion for this city so we don’t lose the magic that makes it so special.”

Fulghum, 49, sought to unseat 28-year-incumbent Knox White. She offered herself as an “outsider” who has never run for public office before, a successful business owner and someone who represents the next generation of new leadership for the city.

“Greenville residents owe a debt of gratitude to our current mayor, but his expiration date has come and gone,” Fulghum said when she announced her candidacy this spring. “He has been involved in city government since I was a child, and unfortunately, he listens more now to special interests than to what concerns the people. I want Greenvillians to know that your voice does matter."

Fulghum became a community activist this year after the veteran mayor and City Council disregarded the wishes of neighborhood residents and enacted a 2040 land use plan that prioritizes high-density development.

Fulghum is the founder and president of InnovateHR, a human resources management firm based in Greenville which manages over 5,000 employees across 38 states.

She founded the $14+ million company in 2009 and has a career history in human resources including working for Forbes magazine and Time, Inc.

“Stay tuned because I will be attending public meetings, speaking up for you since your voice is not heard,” Fulghum said Wednesday. “I can’t say how much I appreciate your kindness, love and support.”