Largest City of SC Flipped Red for the First Time Since 1877
After remaining under liberal mayors for 146 years, Charleston, SC, elected its first Republican mayor on Tuesday (November 21). The historic victory by Republican William Cogswell was called “a stunning defeat” for incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg in Tuesday edition of Post and Courier.
The story described the interesting twist in the final moments of the election results as Tecklenburg, a Democrat, was so confident he’d win the historically blue city that he had already called on Cogswell to concede.
By 9:10 p.m., Tecklenburg had called him to concede, promising to help with the transition. About five minutes later, Tecklenburg was giving his concession speech.
This was a run-off election after the November 7 general election for the mayoral office in which Cogswell beat Tecklenburg but could not pass the 50 percent threshold.
The Western Journal noted that the Charleston mayor’s office is considered nonpartisan. However, every mayor of the city in the past 146 years has either identified as a Democrat or has been recognized as a liberal by people. The last Republican that held the city’s mayoral office was George I. Cunningham, who remained the mayor from 1873 to 1877.
“…the new mayor-elect served as a Republican in state legislature, no matter how the ballot may list their political party affiliations — or fail to.”
National Review wrote that in addition to administrative issues like flooding, public safety, tourism etc., Cogswell ran against Tecklenburg on the incumbent mayor’s response to the post-George Floyd riots of 2020 in the city. The paper cited Teckleburg’s courteous concession speech in which he encouraged people to extend their full support to Cogswell as the new mayor. He said:
“When Mayor Cogswell succeeds, Charleston succeeds, and that’s something we’re all in favor of.”
Conservative commentators cheered at the news of Cogswell’s victory. Graham Allen even called it a miracle in his Twitter/X post that shared a video of supporters cheering Cogswell along with his family on the evening of his election victory.
Popular conservative account End Wokeness pointed that Cogswell won despite being outspent by his Democrat opponent.
William Cogswell’s win in a historically blue Charleston runs contrary to the victory of Democrat Donna Deegan earlier this year in the mayoral race in Jacksonville, Florida. Deegan beat DeSantis-endorsed Jason Fisher in the otherwise red city where DeSantis won the county by 12 points in his gubernatorial election the previous year.