Republican Wins Charleston Mayoral Seat For The First Time Since 1877


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Former South Carolina Republican Rep. William Cogswell won Charleston’s mayoral seat Tuesday, according to unofficial results, flipping the office red for the first time since 1877.

In Tuesday’s runoff election between Cogswell and incumbent John Tecklenburg, unofficial results from the South Carolina Election Commission showed the former state representative claiming 51 percent of the vote, with Tecklenburg at roughly 48 percent. (RELATED: ‘A Marginal Bump’: Strategists Divided On Whether Democrats Will Make Big Gains Over Abortion In 2024)

With 100 percent of the votes in, Cogswell claimed 13,930 out of 27,291, surpassing the amount to avoid a recount. 

Around 8:45 p.m. Cogswell gave a victory speech at his watch party proclaiming he could “confidently” state that he is the next mayor of Charleston before cheers from the crowd erupted, according to The Post and Courier.

“Ladies and gentlemen we can confidently say that I’m going to be the next mayor,” Cogswell stated. 

“The people have spoken and we’re ready for a new direction. A new direction that’s smart, safe, and sound. A new direction that puts our citizens and residents first. And a new direction that puts labels aside so that we can find pragmatic solutions to our problems.” 

“I am humbled by the results, no doubt. I am excited about the future of our city. And I have to say thank you…to all the supporters and all voters that are out there that have expressed their confidence in me,” Cogswell stated. “And I also want to say that if you didn’t vote for me, I hope to earn your trust and respect as your next mayor.”

Shortly following Cogswell’s victory speech Tecklenburg had called the newly elected mayor to concede, promising to help him with the transition, according to The Post and Courier. Tecklenburg, who was seeking reelection for his third term, gave his concession speech around 9:15 p.m., the Post and Courier reported. (RELATED: ‘Lower Than Milk’: SNL’s Trump Roasts GOP Primary Candidates’ ‘Very Low’ Chances)

“Serving as your mayor these last eight years has really been the honor of my life,” Tecklenburg stated. “I’d like to ask each and every Charlestonian to give him your support because starting tonight when Mayor Cogswell succeeds, Charleston succeeds.”

Cogswell’s campaign centered around “safe communities, smart growth, and sound governance,” according to WCBD News 2, in which he plans to include enacting new zoning ordinances, increase funding for recreation leagues and community centers, as well as tackle a localized approach to flooding and affordable housing. 

Cogswell will be sworn into office in January 2024 to begin his term as mayor.