Early Election Results Showed Precarious Positions For Candidates, But Anticipated Outcomes Became More Apparent Later

Charleston Mayoral candidate Mike Seekings, Carolyn Solomon, and Keith Benjamin

By Barney Blakeney

In the early running the going got kind of iffy, but as the tallies for the November 5 municipal elections grew some anticipated outcomes became apparent. In Charleston incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg ended the night in a runoff with Councilman Mike Seekings. In North Charleston, incumbent Mayor Keith Summey won re-election. About 20 percent of registered voters in Charleston County showed up to cast ballots.

At 9 p.m. challenger John Singletary in North Charleston had a slight lead over Summey with 42 percent of the vote compared to Summey’s 41 percent. But as the night wore on Summey pulled away to gain about 1,500 more votes than Singletary. All 10 North Charleston council seats were up for grabs. Incumbents in all districts except Dist. 5 were holding their own. In North Charleston’s races, it was winner take all. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Dist. 5 contender Jerome Heyward’s upset win over incumbent Todd Olds.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg at the Baxter-Patrick James Island Library ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 2

In Charleston, Tecklenburg held the lead throughout where winners must receive at least 50 percent-plus one vote. Tecklenburg ultimately failed to get the required 50 percent-plus one vote. Tecklenburg at 9 p.m. had about 47 percent of the votes followed by Mike Seekings who had about 35 percent of the votes. Tecklenburg  ended the race with 48 percent of the vote, Seekings had 34 percent. Maurice Washington followed at a distant third with eight percent of the vote.

Odd numbered districts of the council’s 12 districts were elected. In Council Dist. 3, incumbent James Lewis held a commanding lead with 47 percent of the vote. He will race in a runoff with Jason Sakran. In Dist. 7 incumbent Perry Keith Waring led with 56 percent of the vote. In Dist. 5 incumbent Marvin Wagner lost to Karl Brady and in Dist. 11 incumbent Bill Moody lost to Ross Appel.

Runoff elections are slated for November 19.

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