Charleston, South Carolina — the state’s largest city — appears to have elected its first Republican mayor since 1877 as State Rep. William Cogswell is projected to become the city’s next leader.
Local media outlets called the race for Cogswell shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday with all 91 precincts reporting. Unofficial election runoff totals currently show Cogswell in the lead with 51.04 percent of the vote, while incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg trails with 48.96% of tallied votes.
The results of the election will still need to be certified by the South Carolina State Election Commission, though as things stand, Cogswell is on pace to become the city’s first Republican mayor in 146 years.
In his victory speech, the mayor-elect called for unity and stated that he will strive to win the votes of citizens who opted to support his opponent. “Ladies and gentlemen, I can confidently say I am going to be the next mayor of the city of Charleston,” Cogswell announced.
“The people have spoken and we’re ready, we’re ready for a new direction. A new direction that’s smart, safe and sound,” Cogswell went on to say before referencing a common campaign theme of “smart, safe and sound.”
“A new direction that puts our citizens and residents first.” he continued, drawing cheers from supporters. “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, thank you, thank you to all the supporters and all the voters that are out there that have expressed their confidence in me.”
In 2020, Charleston County went for Joe Biden by an almost 13-point margin.