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Veteran Democratic Charleston County Councilman Teddie Pryor will again serve as chairman after a party-line vote Tuesday night that included support from newcomer Kylon Middleton, who initially said he would run for the leadership spot.

Pryor

In the end, Pryor faced opposition from Councilman Herb Sass, a Republican on a council that now has a 5-4 Democratic majority after November’s election. It’s a position Pryor previously held 2009-2015.

“I hope my fellow Council members know I’m not about partisanship,” Pryor said after his victory. “I’m about the business of the people.”

Councilwoman Anna Johnson was voted vice-chair, also on a party-line vote. Sass was also nominated for vice-chair after losing to Pryor earlier in the meeting.

The newly sworn-in Middleton has been critical of Council’s previous leadership and said before Tuesday’s meeting that he was interested in being chair, but when it came time for a vote, he was not nominated.

Middleton

“For me, it’s not as much about the chairmanship itself, it’s about the agenda,” Middleton told the City Paper on Wednesday morning. Hoping a “strong coalition” on Council would mean concrete action on issues like affordable housing in the coming weeks, Middleton said, “I had a strong sense that all those agenda items would take front and center, and I was not conceding or giving up anything until I knew that.”

Attorney Rob Wehrman was also sworn in as a new member of Council on Tuesday.