Charleston, SC elects first Republican mayor since 1877

William Cogswell beat out incumbent John Tecklenburg with 51 percent of the vote.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

William Cogswell has won Charleston, South Carolina’s November 21 runoff election and will become the next mayor of the city, the first Republican to hold the seat since 1877.

According to the Post and Courier, Cogswell beat out incumbent John Tecklenburg with 51 percent of the vote.

The city limits span across Charleston and Berkeley counties, with Tecklenburg beating Cogswell by just 153 votes in Charleston County, and Cogswell coming ahead in Berkeley County by 722 votes.

Overall, Cogswell won by 569 votes, enough to avoid an automatic recount.

Cogswell declared victory around 8:45pm, and around half an hour later, Tecklenburg had called to concede.

“The people have spoken and we’re ready for a new direction,” Cogswell said, adding, “I am excited about the future of our city.” 

While the mayor’s office is a nonpartisan one, each candidate has ties to respective political parties, with Tecklenburg identifying as a Democrat, and Cogswell serving as a Republican in the Statehouse.

Cogswell’s campaign ran on three key priorities to put the "needs of local citizens first: smart growth, safe communities, and sound governance."

In a Facebook post celebrating the victory, Cogswell wrote, "Thank you, Charleston. To all who voted for me, I am beyond humbled and look forward to earning the trust and support of each and every resident as we come together to make this city the best it can be. It was a hard-fought campaign and I couldn’t be more grateful for my family and team over the past year and half for getting me to this point. But today, the real work begins. Let’s do this, Charleston!"

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