Candidates face-off in mayoral races across the Lowcountry

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Polls remain open Tuesday afternoon as voters cast their ballot in several local elections, including the race for mayor in three Lowcountry cities.

CITY OF CHARLESTON

In the City of Charleston, incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg will face-off against six candidates.

Longtime Councilman Mike Seekings is expected to be Tecklenburg’s biggest competitor in the race for mayor.

Councilman Gary White, former Councilman Maurice Washington, Renee Orth and Sheri Irwin are also running for mayor of the Holy City.

Seekings said he was happy to see voters engaged and was excited to see the results of Tuesday’s election. His message throughout the campaign was that the City of Charleston deserves to see better and that Mayor Tecklenburg fell short on his promises to fix flooding and stall overcrowding.

“10 years on city council, chairman of CARTA, been involved in many things – run the Bridge Run as executive director, so really it’s been one of the longest apprenticeships for this job which is to be the leader of not just the city, but of the region and the things that challenge us and things people are interested in; quality of life when it comes to everything that they do- mobility, overdevelopment and water.”

The incumbent mayor, who replaced longtime Mayor Joe Riley in 2016, said he’s spent most of his day visiting precincts across the city, meeting voters and rallying last-minute votes.

Tecklenburg stood in line early Tuesday morning to cast his ballot at St. Andrews School of Math and Science where he said he’s made sure his several months of campaigning has focused solely on what the people of Charleston want.

“A good part of that work was just listening to our citizens about what’s on their mind, about what’s important and those are the things that I’ve been addressing- like addressing flooding and drainage in our city; I started a new stormwater department, I brought in the expertise of the Dutch and Corps of Engineers. I’ve got over $100,000,000 in projects that are underway right now. Those are the kinds of things that our citizens are wanting and engaged in.”

CITY OF NORTH CHARLESTON

In North Charleston, all 10 city council races are up for election and so is the mayor’s seat.

Will the longtime incumbent mayor hold onto his seat? Mayor Keith Summey has been the leader for the City of North Charleston for the last 25 years.

Summey will face-off against four candidates including John Singletary, Thomas Dixon, Ashley Peele and Floyd Dotter.

The Mayor said he’s running this year’s race like all the others- barbeques with the community and engaging with constituents.  If elected again, some of the things he has promised to the North Charleston residents is to bring a grocery store to the so-called food desert on the south end and completing Lowcountry rapid transit.

We asked what he thought about his challengers, all of who claim he isn’t doing enough to help the city’s poor communities.

“I would ask them what have they done, except run their mouth,” he said. “They haven’t done anything to go into the neighborhoods to help us correct them. The issues that we have in most of our poorest neighborhoods are the environment that the children are being raised in. I’ve been working in the schools, our rec program, what have you- but we’ve got to get the parents contributing more to the quality of life for these kids.”

Mayor Summey said he headed to the polls early Tuesday morning with his family to cast his vote.

First-time mayoral candidate Pastor Thomas Dixson and his wife said they have been up since 4:00 a.m. placing signage at voting locations. Dixon said he’s had some issues in the past when running for U.S. Senate in 2016 of people stealing signs.

“No money, no staff, no experience, nothing- just me, a beat-up car and ground,” he said of his campaign roots. Dixson said he feels differently about this election because he has a different kind of experience to bring to the table.

“Nobody else has a track record of working for the people,” he said. “Standing up for the people on behalf of the people- nobody else.”

TOWN OF SUMMERVILLE

Four candidates are also running for mayor of Summerville.

Ricky Waring, Bill Hearn, Fleming Moore and Brandon King have been campaigning for your vote.

Current Mayor Wiley Johnson is not running for re-election.

You can view the latest results as they become available tonight through counton2.com. Just click or tap here to view those live results.

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