Odd-numbered Charleston City Council district races returned some surprises on Tuesday, with just two incumbents re-elected on the first ballot and at least three new faces set to join the City Hall crew.
The race in Council District 1 between Marie Delcioppo and Angela Black Drake showcased some of the new blood that will represent the city in the coming years. Despite her close ties to the historic downtown Ansonborough district, Drake could not muster a victory against Daniel Island Neighborhood Association President Delcioppo, who bested her opponent by a margin of almost 30 percent.
Over in Council District 3, incumbent James Lewis Jr. was sent into a runoff against Jason Sakran. Lewis walked away with only 180 more votes than Sakran. Runoff elections will be hosted on Nov. 19. Lewis has served on council since 1995.
District 5 provided one of the first upsets of the night, with newcomer Karl Brady overtaking incumbent Marvin Wagner by a margin of about 28 percent. Wagner has served on council since 2011 and has become one of Mayor John Tecklenburg’s regular sparring partners. Brady’s focus on pedestrian safety and a new cyclist advisory group stands in contrast with Wagner’s past attempts to slow proposals for an Ashley River bike lane.
Keith Waring won the Council District 7 race against Christian King. Waring has been on council since 2012. Despite a loyal following, King was not able to contend with Waring’s years of experience on council. District 7 is situated in a key area for West Ashley revitalization plans, as plans for Citadel Mall’s renewal move ahead.
Although candidate Brett Barry put up a good fight, incumbent Peter Shahid took District 9 once again, with about 58 percent of the vote. The lack of road infrastructure in West Ashley became one of the most-heated talking points for the candidates. Voters chose Shahid over Barry and a second challenger, Leah Whatley.
In District 11, another council stalwart and Tecklenburg detractor was defeated by a newcomer, when Ross Appel won the district seat over incumbent Bill Moody by a 35 percent margin. After eight years on council and a track record of advocacy for I-526’s completion and butting heads with the mayor, Moody fell to Appel, who pushed a generational change argument for new blood on council.