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Maurice Washington To Enter Charleston Mayoral Race
4/16/2015 3:47:34 PM

Maurice Washington
By Barney Blakeney

Former Charleston City Councilman and political activist Maurice Washington said he will enter the race to become Charleston’s next mayor.

Washington said he has received the amount of campaign donations to require filing a state mandated financial disclosure form and plans to formally announce his candidacy in the coming few weeks.

He previously served on city council and made one unsuccessful bid for mayor and two unsuccessful bids for the S.C. Senate Dist. 42 seat.

The former South Carolina State University Trustee said he didn’t arrive at the decision to offer for the mayor’s office lightly. He’s had discussions with various groups and individuals over the past several months, he said.

Looking at the issues confronting Charleston residents and hearing the messages of other announced candidates, Washington said he feels he can bring new and different issues to the table. He will join William Dudley Gregorie as one of two African Americans in the race which includes Ginny Deerin, Leon Stavrinakis, John Tecklenburg and Paul Tinkler.

A viable campaign will require substantial financial resources. Washington said money doesn’t vote, people do. He said he feels he can raise the cash to mount a successful campaign without trying to buy the election.

Raising enough cash may not be Washington’s only challenge however. Charleston’s population is less than 30 percent Black. Washington said he realizes that many voters still cast their ballots along racial lines. But he also feels many voters will cast their votes based on the messages of the candidates regardless of race. Ultimately whoever wins must represent all the city’s residents, he said.

He doesn’t see the fact that two African Americans are announced will impact their ability to win enough votes to capture the seat. There are four white candidate in the race as well, he noted. The dynamics of the race however, will require that the candidates be strategic in their campaigning.

“I think voters will look beyond race and sex,” Washington said.

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