Charleston, S.C., Elects First Republican Mayor Since The Reconstruction Era

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: The South Carolina state flag is seen at the end of the hallway near the office of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in the Russell Senate Office Building on August 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. Graham announced earlier today on his Twitter account that he had tested positive for Covid-19. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
2:40 PM – Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Charleston, South Carolina, has elected their first Republican Mayor since the Reconstruction Era. 


Republican William Cogswell (R-S.C.) defeated incumbent Mayor John Tecklenberg (D-S.C.) in a runoff election on Tuesday. He won by just two percentage points, according to the South Carolina Election Commission. 

The newly elected mayor had secured the most votes during the November 7th general election but not the majority. Due to that, a runoff between Tecklenburg and Cogswell occurred.

“We can confidently say that I’m going to be the next mayor,” said Cogswell, a real-estate developer who was endorsed by major South Carolina GOP members, including Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.). “The people have spoken, and we’re ready for a new direction … a new direction that puts labels aside, so that we can find pragmatic solutions to our problems.”

Issues focused on in the race included flooding, public safety and how to address the city’s population growth. One City Council district has doubled in population between the last two census counts in 2010 and 2020, according to multiple reports. 

Tecklenburg conceded and congratulated Cosgwell on the victory.

“I’d like to congratulate our new Mayor-Elect William Cogswell … and I’d like to ask each and every Charlestonian, everybody out there, to give him your support,” Tecklenburg said. “When Mayor Cogswell succeeds, Charleston succeeds, and that’s something we’re all in favor of.”

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