The mayor of Beaufort, South Carolina resigned abruptly from his post on Friday morning via a lengthy Facebook message, saying the city “deserves a mayor that has their heart and energy fully committed to the job.”
According to Stephen Murray, he is no longer that man.
Why not? According to his post, he’s “tired.”
“While I’m proud of the work and I know there is still much to be done, I’m tired,” Murray wrote. “I’m tired of the daily barrage of uncivil and rude people accusing me of impropriety without a shred of proof. I’m tired of the ‘he said, she said’ middle school drama that is present among many of the folks that I’m required to work with outside of Team Beaufort. I’m also tired of prioritizing my civic job at the expense of my health, my family, my friends, my businesses, and my reputation.”
Murray also indicated he was tired of fighting “people who’ve had their hands on political levers for a long time, people who have advocated for their interests at the expense of many others (and) people who are not duly elected or operate in a transparent way.”
“I believe it’s time for me to focus more on my family, my friends, my businesses, and my health,” he concluded. “Effective immediately.”
Murray did not identify the “uncivil and rude people” accusing him of impropriety, nor did he elaborate on the particulars of the “middle school drama.”
Of interest? On Thursday afternoon, a local group – the Beautiful Beaufort Alliance – posted an entry on its Facebook page accusing Murray of stalking Cynthia Jenkins, the executive director of the city’s historic foundation.
According to the group, on the evening of Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Murray followed Jenkins after a city council meeting and confronted her at a stoplight to “gloat” about removing her from a local review board.
“Several city council members are aware of this situation and actively involved,” the post noted.
Murray was elected to Beaufort’s city council in 2014 and elected mayor in 2020.
A special election will be held in December to fill the unexpired portion of Murray’s term. Beaufort mayor pro tempore Mike McFee will assume the office on an interim basis until the special election is held.
Home to an estimated 13,000 people, Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina – founded in 1711 – and is the seat of Beaufort County, which is in the midst of its own governmental implosion at the moment. The city is a popular tourist destination and is scheduled to host one of the high-profile ‘Murdaugh Murders‘ financial criminal trials in November of this year.
This is a developing story … please check back for updates ….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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