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Charleston Mayoral Race Is Getting Testy




Two candidates for mayor of Charleston, S.C. are bashing each other on the issue of infrastructure, with presumptive frontrunner Leon Stavrinakis – a fifth-term lawmaker – slamming one of his rivals, Ginny Deerin, for allegedly running false attack ads against him.

“Until recently, I was very encouraged by the positive nature of this mayoral race,” Stavrinakis said. “For the last forty years, we have had one of the most positive mayors in the entire country and I think the voters of Charleston want to keep it that way.  Unfortunately, Ginny Deerin disagrees.  After all we’ve been through, Charleston deserves better than false, negative attacks from a person simply trying to win an election.”

Deerin – who has hit Stavrinakis for his failure to support a gas tax increase – bristled at the frontrunner’s “all we’ve been through” language.

“It’s twisted logic to connect the tragedies our city has experienced to policy comparisons on transportation and development,” she said.  “I’d like to continue staying focused on issues.  And today, I’d like to continue to address the (number one) issue in our community – traffic, growth, and transportation.”

According to Deerin, Stavrinakis “voted no on the largest transportation infrastructure bill in decades.”

“He says his no vote was good for Charleston,” she added.  “But zero dollars to meet Charleston’s transportation needs is just that – a big zero. And he voted no not once – but twice.”

Stavrinakis fired back that he has consistently supported new road funding – including money for the wasteful Interstate 526 project.

“Leon Stavrinakis has spent his entire career fighting for our roads,” his campaign manager said, claiming that Deerin “is far behind in the polls and has resorted to desperate attacks.”

“It’s a shame she’d criticize Leon for voting against a bill that would have raised taxes on Charlestonians and sent the money away from Charleston and to other parts of the state,” he added.

Hmmmm …

Last time we checked Charleston has been the recipient of more than it’s fair share of road funding.  In fact one powerful state Senator recently said lawmakers in Columbia, S.C. had been “force feeding asphalt to the coast, while the Upstate and many rural areas starve.”