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William Cogswell for mayor of Charleston

We have several talented individuals running to be mayor of Charleston, but others are clearly non-starters, as evidenced by their inability to respond to our debate questions. Let’s get to those with something to offer.

John Tecklenburg is a kind person, but we can summarize his primary weakness as follows: He is too quick to become entangled in identity politics. In particular, we have had a very hard time forgetting the fact that he and the late Chief Reynolds led the Black Lives Matter march in Charleston on the very day of the riots in 2020. The Calhoun statue has never been popular with all our citizens, but our city’s history is the foundation of honorable tourism and who we are as a people. Though he had promised never to take down a statue, Mayor Tecklenburg was unable to stand up when we needed him and caution against embracing an ugly national cancel movement. We are sorry that he did not stick with his promise to serve only two terms.

Clay Middleton is a well-organized patriot in a hurry to take on the next civic challenge. He communicates well and represents his positions effectively and connects to a base of support in influential Democratic circles at home and beyond our boundaries. Clay is a most likable candidate and has a lovely family, but he is simply too far to the left for us; you should expect to see him around in the future. Peter Shahid is another strong communicator who has given us thoughtful answers to the questions of the day. We commend him on challenging Mayor Tecklenburg and being tough on a host of difficult issues. If our selected candidate were not running, Peter Shahid would be our choice. We sure hope that our selection for mayor will tap Councilman Shahid for a job in his administration, a stroke of brilliance and provide some institutional knowledge from a smart guy with good ideas.

In the upcoming mayoral election for the beautiful city of Charleston, the choice is clear: William Cogswell, a former state representative and a developer with a proven track record, should be elected as the next mayor. Cogswell’s vision, leadership and dedication to the welfare of this historic city make him the superior choice in a crowded field, especially as matched against the candidacy of incumbent John Tecklenburg.

William Cogswell. IMAGE PROVIDED

With our city’s rich history, vibrant culture and evolving challenges, we need a leader who can steer Charleston toward a prosperous future while preserving its unique character. William Cogswell’s extensive experience in real estate development positions him as the ideal candidate to manage Charleston’s growth wisely. Under his guidance, citizens can expect prudent urban planning, responsible development and an understanding of the importance of the city’s architectural heritage. Further, his record as a state legislator reflected a prudent acknowledgement of the moderate nature of his district, an outlook that bodes well for his ability to manage the city and its diverse constituencies.

One of the most pressing concerns in Charleston is the issue of crime. Unfortunately, the incumbent mayor has shown a lack of decisiveness in addressing this critical problem. When recently questioned about the riots that engulfed King Street during his time in office, he noted “no one died.” Well, “hey, no one died” is a responsibility-dodging teenager’s protest to dad for taking the car for a spin without asking: It is not a credible response to questions about crime in the Holy City. Cogswell, on the other hand, is explicit in his plans to bolster the city’s safety measures. Charleston deserves a mayor who is proactive in ensuring the safety of its residents, and Cogswell is the candidate to deliver on this promise.

Furthermore, Cogswell brings fresh ideas and innovative solutions to the table. His focus on growing and fostering industries beyond tourism and capping property taxes for residents who have been in their residence for 25 years or longer show that his focus is on the right problems facing our city. Charlestonians with deep roots have been priced out and pushed off the peninsula for too long, not only as a place of residence but even as a pleasant place to visit. Cogswell’s suggested solutions could be critical steps towards preserving downtown as a vital part of our community and reverse its dwindling population numbers.

Moreover, Mr. Cogswell is a sportsman who understands conservation. He can see that the city’s boundaries are abutting and incorporating areas where citizens hunt and where one finds habitat to protect. We believe he is the right candidate for the moment to understand the nuances of what is involved and will respect traditional land-use opportunities.

We believe William Cogswell embodies the vision, leadership and dedication that Charleston needs at this pivotal moment in its history. Moreover, a great number of influential Charleston business leaders and citizens are also stepping up to help Mr. Cogswell; they know their candidate has listening ears and the real-world experience needed to get difficult tasks accomplished.

Although there are other candidates in the field with admirable records of civic service, Mr. Cogswell is the best candidate to garner the votes needed to effect change at Charleston City Hall. His desire to work with the other municipalities that surround the Holy City and to think about Charleston’s role in the larger region is critical. This dedication, coupled with his hyperlocal focus on what is truly important for city government, i.e., keeping crime low, streets clean and neighborhoods livable, we see a gentleman who understands exactly what it will take to govern successfully. On Election Day, we encourage Charlestonians to cast their votes for William Cogswell and to be prepared for a runoff two weeks later.


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