Charleston City Councilman Peter Shahid, a practicing attorney and 2019 mayor pro tempore, announced today he is running for mayor of Charleston.

Shahid, who represents areas in West Ashley surrounding Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, joins two other potential challengers to Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg’s officially non-partisan seat — Democratic politico Clay Middleton and outgoing S.C. GOP Rep. William Cogswell. Neither have made an official decision, they told the City Paper in a report earlier this month

“Over the last year, I have had countless Charlestonians urging me to consider running for mayor,” Shahid said in a statement. “I have been humbled by their encouragement and faith in my ability to lead our wonderful city. After two terms on City Council, I have grown frustrated with the direction of our beloved city under the current administration. Now more than ever, our city needs a mayor who possesses strong leadership and has a vision for the future.”  

Shahid said he will build his campaign over the next few months, focusing on ideas that reflect every district of Charleston, including the peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island and Daniel Island. 

Shahid was an assistant public defender in Charleston County from 1981 to 1984, when he partnered in the law firm of Shahid and Taylor until 1988. From there, he was an assistant United States attorney for the District of South Carolina from 1988 to 1997 and has been a sole practitioner at the Shahid Law Office, LLC since 1997. He was appointed as an associate municipal judge for the Town of Mount Pleasant from 1997 to 2006.

Shahid was first elected to City Council in 2015, the same year Tecklenburg was elected mayor.

The election is still a year-and-a-half away, slated for November 2023. And there will almost certainly be more challengers to throw their hats into the ring leading up to election day.

“The next city election is still a full year-and-a half away,” Tecklenburg told the City Paper in a statement. “Between now and then, my job as mayor is to stay focused on the common-sense priorities that matter most to our citizens — fixing flooding, fighting crime, easing traffic and building affordable housing — and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

Shahid and Middleton both said they would focus on the future of Charleston if elected mayor.

“When my grandfather arrived here in 1899, Charleston was a different place: a city with many  struggles and challenges,” Shahid said in a statement. “Today, we are a city whose possibilities are only limited by the minds of  those tasked with orchestrating and implementing our next phase of growth and prosperity. We need competent, decisive leaders to lead us to the future.”

“It’s about the future, like all elections,” Middleton told the City Paper. “If I do decide to run, it’s going to be focused on my role in shaping the future of Charleston, the city I grew up in, and the community that invested so much in me and my upbringing, as a way to give back.”

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