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Charleston Elects First Republican Mayor Since 1877

Voters in Charleston, South Carolina, have elected the first Republican to lead the city as mayor since 1877.

Former State Representative William Cogswell defeated incumbent Democrat Mayor John Tecklenburg by less than 1,000 votes in a runoff election Tuesday. The unofficial results from the South Carolina Election Commission show Cogswell garnered about 51 percent of the vote.

Tecklenburg, who had held the office since 2016, conceded the race late Tuesday.

“Serving as your mayor these last eight years has really been the honor of my life,” Tecklenburg told a crowd of supporters at his watch party. “I’d like to ask each and every Charlestonian to give him your support because starting tonight when Mayor Cogswell succeeds, Charleston succeeds.”

Cogswell declared victory at his watch party in downtown Charleston.

“The people have spoken and we’re ready, we’re ready for a new direction,” he said. “I am humbled by the results, no doubt. I am excited about the future of our city.”

Cogswell’s campaign centered around three key themes: “safe communities, smart growth, and sound governance,” WCBD reported.

He advocates for what he calls a “strategic approach to growth,” which would include enacting new zoning ordinances. He also supports increased funding for city recreation leagues and community centers, as well as taking a regional approach to address both flooding and affordable housing.

He represented House District 110 in the Statehouse from 2017 until 2022. During that time, he served as Chairman of the Business and Commerce subcommittee.

As a real estate developer, some of his major projects include the redevelopment of the old Cigar Factory on East Bay Street and Garco Mill in Park Circle, as well as ongoing efforts to revitalize the Navy Yard in North Charleston.

“Your courage and support shows that we can come together and find common ground, and I look forward to working closely with each of you to find positive paths forward for our city that we all love,” Cogswell said at his victory party.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.