CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials with the Charleston County Board of Elections say there will be a runoff between two Folly Beach City Council candidates, Billy Grooms and Anne Peets, and a runoff between two Charleston City Council District 9 candidates, William Tinkler and Mike Gastin. There will also be a runoff for the Charleston mayor’s race between incumbent John Tecklenburg and William Cogswell.
Charleston’s mayoral race is a majority vote meaning a candidate needed 50 percent plus one of the vote total to win. During Tuesday’s election, Cogswell received 36 percent of the total votes and Tecklenburg received 32 percent.
Both Cogswell and Mayor Tecklenburg shared their thoughts following Tuesday’s election now knowing they’re headed for a runoff.
“We’ve done this twice before,” Tecklenburg said. “Both times when I ran for mayor there were runoffs, and we know how to do that. So, I’m feeling very confident about our runoff in two weeks.”
“Great turnout and obviously very pleased with the results,” Cogswell said. “We had a resounding victory on the first ballot.”
Cogswell, who is a real estate developer and former state representative, says the more than 1200-vote difference between he and Tecklenburg proves that the city is ready for a change in leadership.
“I think people want to see positive progress forward for our city not just talk,” Cogswell said. “Again, that was clear at the ballot, and again, we’re also running a positive campaign and I think that really resonates with people in Charleston as well.”
However Mayor Tecklenburg, who has held the seat since 2016, says he’s not discouraged by the vote disparity.
“It’s a clear choice now,” Tecklenburg said. “A mayor who has been getting things done. We can go over a long list of things that Team Charleston, the City of Charleston is working on and accomplishing. I’m very proud of.”
Since Tuesday’s election, both candidates say they’ve already gained several new supporters.
“I’ve been talking to so many people,” Tecklenburg said, “our own supporters but also new supporters from some of the candidates who are no longer in the race. I’ve been on the phone all morning. The Tecklenburg Team is growing.”
“Want to bring new supporters in,” Cogswell said. “We’re talking to the other candidates hoping that them and their supporters will come in our direction because we really want this to be a campaign about all of Charleston and putting the residents first.”
The runoff elections will take place on Tuesday, November 21, and early voting for the runoffs begins on Wednesday, November 15.