It’s hard to believe, but we’re on the eve of what will shape up to be a contentious round of municipal elections coming up this fall. On Super Tuesday, November 5, Charleston and Mt. Pleasant voters will each pick new members for their city and town councils, and Mt. P will also choose a mayor to inherit the seat left open Mayor Billy Swails, who opted not to run for re-election.
In Charleston, it’s the even-numbered council district seats (2-12) that are up for grabs in the city’s staggered mid-term municipal elections. We’ll be profiling the races , but here’s a quick rundown of who’s up for what, starting with the most interesting races at first glance:
- District 6 – Westside neighborhood’s District 6 Councilman William Dudley Gregorie, multiple-time challenger to Mayor Joe Riley, will face the most competition. Among his challengers are Fran Clasby, Joe Good, Lauretta Lemon Dailey, and Benjamin D’Allesandro.
- District 8 – Harleston Village and South of Broad Councilman Mike Seekings faces a challenge from ex-1st Congressional District Democratic candidate Bobbie Rose.
- District 2 – Councilman Blake Hallman, whose district lies in West Ashley outside the Mark Clark, faces past candidate Rodney Williams.
- District 4 – Longtime Eastside Councilman Robert M. Mitchell will face Elizabeth Fulton of Alexander Street.
- District 10 Councilman Dean Riegel and District 12 Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson are not contested.
Check SCVotes.org to find out which district you live in.
Also interesting to note, former City Councilman Tim Mallard has thrown his hat into the ring to serve on the Charleston Water System Board of Commissioners.
Across the Ravenel Bridge, Mount Pleasant voters will elect a new mayor and at least a few seats on its town council, as three of the four councilmembers whose terms are set to expire opt against running for re-election. Councilman Elton Carrier is the lone incumbent running to remain in his seat; Councilmembers John Burn, Linda Page, and Chris Rhyne will cycle off when the new members are installed. Eight candidates will run for the four at-large seats up for grabs: Former Mt. P Councilman Gary Santos, 2011 County Council candidate Mark Smith, 2009 mayoral candidate Gary Santos, former Republican candidate for county auditor Paul Gawrych, Anthony Kowbiedu, Ben Bryson, Joseph Wren, and Timm Gipe.
Five candidates will compete for the job of standing atop Mt. Pleasant as mayor as Swails steps aside: current Councilmembers Ken Glasson and Linda Page, past Charleston GOP chair Joe Bustos, Carl Carroll, Jr., and George Freeman.