NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Municipal elections are taking place across the Lowcountry on Tuesday, and while voters head to the polls, candidates vying to lead in various positions spent much of the day campaigning for last-minute votes.
North Charleston will soon have a new leader for the first time in nearly 30 years. The city’s longtime mayor, Keith Summey, previously announced that he would not seek reelection this year – 10 candidates are vying to replace Summey and carry the city into the future.
Reggie Burgess retired as the North Charleston Police Department’s chief of police earlier this year to focus on his campaign for mayor.
As chief, Burgess managed a budget of over $40 million and a staff of more than 400 people. He started a community program referred to as Stop the Violence that featured community walks to address rising crime rates, which he was recognized nationally for, and has held various roles with the department since 1989.
He is a native and lifelong resident of North Charleston – a place he calls the greatest city in the world.
Meanwhile, Charleston County Councilman Teddie Pryor, Sr. believes his more than 30 years in politics makes him the best man to lead the city of North Charleston. His campaign slogan has been “proven leadership, proven experience.”
He has served on Charleston County Council for 20 years, with eight of those years spent as council chairman. Pryor said his economic record in particular stands out more than the other candidates because he oversaw the county’s $750 million budget.
If elected, Pryor said his main priorities include focusing on affordable housing for all, creating more jobs, enhancing livability, and transparent fiscal responsibility.
Local realtor Todd Olds hopes to become the city’s next mayor. He previously served as a North Charleston city council member for eight years from 2012 until 2020, and a planning commissioner for the city for three years from 2009 until 2001.
He believes previous experience with North Charleston makes him a qualified candidate. His campaign – “Reboot Our City” – has been focused on crime reduction and increasing police support by paying police officers more. Other priorities for Olds include increasing government transparency, improving infrastructure, and bettering transportation.
There are seven other candidates seeking the office of mayor including Russ Coletto, Stephanie Ganaway-Pasley, Rhonda Jerome, Curtis Merriweather, Jr., John Singletary, Smauel Whatley, and Jesse Williams.
North Charleston’s mayoral race is determined by plurality, meaning the candidate who gets the most votes will win. Polls will close Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.