Former Republican State Rep. Wins Mayoral Race In South Carolina City Controlled By Democrats For Decades
Aerial view of historic Charleston, South Carolina.
Photo by: Visions of America/Joseph Sohm/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

A former South Carolina Republican state representative has won election as the mayor of Charleston, a city that has been controlled by Democrats for decades. 

On Tuesday, former Republican representative William Cogswell defeated incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg by 569 votes in the city’s runoff election. While mayoral races are officially nonpartisan, the city’s mayors since 1877 have reportedly all been Democrats. 

“The people have spoken and we’re ready for a new direction,” Cogswell, who was in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2017-2022, said, “ 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,” he added. 

Cogswell was endorsed by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) while Tecklenburg had the support of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

Tecklenburg conceded on Tuesday night, saying he hoped Cogswell the best as mayor. 

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

Tecklenburg, who took over from longtime Democrat mayor Joe Riley in 2016, won his previous re-election campaign in 2020 with over 60% of the vote.


During the campaign, Cogswell criticized Teckleburg for how he handled the COVID pandemic and violent riots in the city following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Cogswell, who described himself as a moderate, also focused on issues related to crime, the city’s population boom, and economic growth. 

“I wish John all the best. Nothing personal,” Cogswell said. “But I think it’s time for the next generation. I think it’s time for a new chapter in our city, and I’m excited to usher that in.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Former Republican State Rep. Wins Mayoral Race In South Carolina City Controlled By Democrats For Decades