Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announced while running for his 10th term in 2011 that it would be his last. With Riley out of the picture for the first time in 40 years, competition for the mayor’s seat is heating up. There are another nine months to go until election day and eight hopeful candidates have already filed or announced intentions for candidacy. State law requires candidates to file with the State Ethics Commission when they raise their first $500.
Among the first to file in October was John Tecklenburg, former city director of economic development under Riley. As of Jan. 9 he has already raised $133,696 from over 290 donors, more than anyone else so far.
Dean Reigel is a city councilman for West Ashley and CEO of Carolina Center for Occupational Health. He served as mayor pro tempore in 2012.
This is councilman William Dudley Gregorie’s third bid for Riley’s seat. “I’ve never stopped running,” he told The Post and Courier. He also has over 30 years of experience in housing and urban development.
Paul Tinkler is a local lawyer and former city council member. He started his fundraising efforts back in August. One of his priorities is to develop areas in West Ashley and James Island.
Ginny Deerin has also submitted paperwork, but she hasn’t officially started her campaign. Over the years she worked on several of Riley’s campaigns and was most recently a democratic candidate for Secretary of State in November.
Henry Fishburne is a real estate broker and spent eight years in the city council, even serving as mayor pro tempore in 2007. His platform includes an online “Fix it Hub” where people can tag pictures of problems and suggest solutions.
The latest to join the race, Leon Stavrinakis is an attorney and state representative with years of experience in state legislature and on the city council. He is noted for writing and sponsoring the Boland Act, which created a database to manage access to guns for the mentally ill.
State Rep. Wendell Gilliard has also announced his intention to run, although he hasn’t raised enough money to file with the Ethics Commission yet.
More candidates are expected to join the race before the August filing deadline.
After completing this term, Mayor Riley will return to the Citadel, his alma mater, to serve as chair of American Government and Public Policy.