2019 city election campaigns officially underway
The filing period for the City of Charleston mayoral and city council races has ended and the election season is now officially underway. Appearing on the ballot this November for mayor will be Sheri Irwin, Michelle Renee Orth, Mike Seekings, John Tecklenburg (incumbent), Maurice Washington, and Gary White. Candidates Marie Delcioppo and Angela Drake are vying for White’s City Council District 1 seat, which represents all of Daniel Island as well as portions of downtown Charleston and the Cainhoy peninsula. Shawn Pinkston, who previously announced his candidacy for the position, is no longer running. The Daniel Island resident is expected to make another announcement about his future political intentions this week.
Below are some of the key issues each mayoral candidate has placed on his or her campaign platform:
Sheri Irwin – Resident of West Ashley. Running for mayor to stop “the urbanization” of West Ashley; to oppose “sustainability,” which she claims is actually a “war on free enterprise;” to stop using tax dollars for private sector building; to stop city’s plan to change zoning laws; to allow single family home owners to do short term rentals; to oppose regionalism; and to take action on flooding.
Michelle Renee Orth – James Island resident and founder of the “Stone Soup Collective,” a non-profit that “nourishes hundreds of people in the Lowcountry regardless of financial means” through healthy, sustainable options, according to a Facebook post by “We the People for Mayor of Charleston.” The site describes Orth as “a community organizer, author and possibilitarian.” She is reportedly running to address climate change issues.
Mike Seekings – Attorney. Currently represents District 8 on city council. Running for mayor to address flooding, traffic and rampant growth with action-oriented plans. Promises to “build consensus, manage growth, and secure local, state and federal funding for major projects so that residents aren’t over-taxed and the city’s children aren’t weighed down tomorrow by the problems of today.”
John Tecklenburg – Current mayor of Charleston. Running for re-election to second term. If re-elected, Mayor Tecklenburg has promised to continue to implement his “Quality of Life” plan for citizens and neighborhoods – focusing on keeping crime low, securing additional dollars for traffic/infrastructure improvements and affordable housing, and putting a lid on new hotel development. Additionally, he has made flooding his top priority.
Maurice Washington – Former Charleston city councilman. Running for mayor to “make sure that Charleston is a home you can be proud of.” He believes in “equality and inclusion, protection of greenspace and wetlands, quality neighborhood schools, workforce housing, and jobs.”
Gary White – Currently represents District 1 on city council. Investment and real estate consultant/strategist. Pledges to bring strong, “solution-oriented” new leadership to take Charleston into the future if elected. Running for mayor to address flooding, growth and development, parking, affordable housing, and traffic congestion. “I’ll provide the vision needed to protect the charm and character of our great city,” he stated.
DINA TO HOST MAYORAL FORUM
The Daniel Island Neighborhood Association (DINA) has invited mayoral candidates for the City of Charleston to participate in a Mayoral Forum on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island, located at 299 Seven Farms Drive. The event is open to the community and residents of Daniel Island and the greater Cainhoy peninsula are encouraged to attend. At the time this issue went to print, the following candidates had confirmed their attendance: Maurice Washington, Gary White, Mike Seekings, Sheri Irwin, and Mayor John Tecklenburg.
“My goal is for those who attend to better educate themselves on our candidates and what their views - and solutions - are on the critical issues facing Charleston,” stated Marie Delcioppo, DINA president. “I want residents to be inspired not only to go vote and exercise that incredible right, but also to feel confident in whomever they choose to vote for.”
The program will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Residents are asked to submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Aug. 30, for the candidates to answer at the forum.