Phillip Pounds wins Isle of Palms mayoral race

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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of Palms City Council Member Phillip Pounds will be the island’s next mayor.

Pounds received more than 1,000 votes during Tuesday’s municipal election, beating out his opponent and fellow councilmember Ryan Buckhannon, who pulled more than 900 votes in a very tight race.

With the race too close to call Tuesday night, Charleston County election officials said 17 provisional ballots would determine whether the race would go to a recount or runoff election.

Staff with the Charleston County Board of Electionswresearched the 17 provisional ballots Wednesday, and the board met Thursday morning to determine which were valid and which were not. Nine of those 17 votes were included – Pounds was determined the winner with a total of 1,011 votes to Buckhannon’s 933.

“We had a hard-fought campaign, we knew it was going to be close and it was, one vote obviously,” says Pounds.

It was a split vote island-wide but Pounds hopes island residents will move forward as one unit under his leadership.

“You know whether you voted for me or not, lets come together and focus on things that are important to the island,” says Pounds.

Pounds says he has a vision to lead the island when he replaces out-going Mayor Jimmy Carroll. Pounds says he’s looking to address key issues such as the Marina improvement project.

“Probably at the top of the list and what most of us ran on is doing something about the traffic and something about the parking,” says Pounds.

Mayor Pounds says he wants to take council members, including the four new members, on a retreat for the group in January to build comradery and communication. A big focus for the group will also be improve transparency.

“I’d love to define what success is going to look like in our tenure and put whatever metrics around we need to make sure we can stay focused on,” says Pounds.

On the other side of the ballot, a man who has served on city council for more than two decades. Ryan Buckhannon says gratitude is the first thing that comes to mind when he looks back.

“I can’t thank everybody enough for the support I got this election and the last 22 years here on council,” says Buckhannon.

“The record number of residents that showed up to support their candidate was record-breaking,” said Buckhannon after the announcement. “This election reminded us that EVERY voter matters and this election came down to one vote, literally, one vote that changed the direction of this campaign.

Buckhannon oversaw numerous projects during his tenure on council was the first to call and congratulate Pounds this morning after receiving the election results. Buckhannon says he’ll take some time to reflect on his service and spend time with his family.

“I’ve always put the island first, then my family,” says Buckhannon. “I’m going to miss it but I’m leaving it in good hands. We’ll be good. I appreciate it.”

Pounds moved to the island in 2010 and began serving on City Council in 2020.

Among his top priorities are fostering a sense of community, increasing transparency, and building relationships with business owners on the island as well as neighboring communities.

Pounds will take office in January replacing out-going Mayor Jimmy Carroll. A special election to fill Pounds remaining two years on city council is expected to be held in April.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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