Charleston City Council election preview: Who is on the ballot


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – There are three Charleston City Council seats up for grabs this Election Day. The highly contested races include District 4, 12, and 10. The other three council members are running unopposed.

Incumbent Harry Griffin is running against Stephen Bowden for the District 10 spot. This represents parts of West Ashley.

Griffin was elected for his first term four years ago. He told News 2, since he’s been in office, he has helped with flooding issues.

“We have a maintenance schedule where we clean out every neighborhood twice a year. I am very proud of that,” Griffin said.  “We’ve invested more money into this district over the last four years, than we had in the history of this district previously.”

Back in 2020, there were calls for Griffin to resign after he was scheduled to speak at an event held by the Proud Boys, which he never attended. He also made headlines when he was arrested for DUI in May. Those charges were dropped.

He said he decided to run again because he wants to see major infrastructure projects completed, such as the widening of Glenn McConnell Parkway.

“I’ve never really had the opportunity to see whether or not my district still supports me. We’re going to have a good idea of that tomorrow (Election Day),” Griffin told News 2.

Griffin’s opponent, Stephen Bowden, is a Charleston County Public Defender. Bowden told News 2 the main issues he wants to tackle are flooding and traffic.

“We have got to get a handle on our development practices. That’s going to be one of the main challenges for our area going forward,” Bowden said.

He said, if elected, he hopes to solve these problems through zoning reform. Bowden said he wants to see fairness when it comes to development.

“Our district needs somebody, like me, who will actually dedicate themselves to service. Who will dive into the details and keep their name out of the headlines. That’s why I am running.”

The District 12 race is between incumbent Carol Jackson and political newcomer Caroline Parker. The winner will represent James Island.

Jackson said she is an active retiree and lives on James Island with her husband and kids.

Jackson was elected for her first term four years ago. Since then, she said she came up with the James Island Creek Water Quality Task Force, which requires the creek to be cleaned up.

“I mean, everything that I do I think is to keep James Island in sort of the low density, low key, open spaces as much as possible,” said Jackson.

Moving forward, Jackson said she wants to fulfill the goals of the newly adopted City plan, specifically focusing on the Land and Water analysis.

She also hopes to incentivize what she calls appropriately located housing.

“Developed as an incentive to people that are just starting out in life and don’t want to have a huge house in the suburbs, they want to have a fun lifestyle with a smaller sized house. And we don’t have a lot of those.”

Jackson said she looks forward to working with neighborhoods on the south end of the island.

Caroline Parker is running for her first government role. She is a preschool teacher on the Island and is raising her three sons with her husband.

Parker said it was important to her to give voters options instead of current council members running unopposed.

“I think my take on politics and what’s going on in the City of Charleston and City Council right now, I think it’s refreshing for a lot of people. I do think it’s something they want to see,” Parker said.

If elected, Parker said she hopes to work on flood mitigation and storm drain management, and she also hopes to improve the James Island Recreation Complex.

“We could really step it up in our district and have the city really incorporate, you know, again bring the focus back to James Island,” Parker told News 2.

As for the District 4 race, incumbent Robert Mitchell is running against Tim Weber. News 2 reached out to the candidates, but they were not available for an interview.

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