Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


William Cogswell inaugurated as mayor of Charleston

Charleston has its first Republican mayor in 146 years
William Cogswell is inaugurated on January 8th.

At noon on Monday, January 8th, William Cogswell was inaugurated as the 35th mayor of Charleston.

Cogswell won Charleston’s most recent mayoral election, defeating incumbent Democrat John Tecklenburg. Tecklenburg had served for two terms following Joe Riley’s 40 year long mayoralty. Accomplishments during Tecklenburg’s mayoralty include the creation of the Homeless to Hope Fund, the start of the construction of the Ashley River pedestrian crossing, and the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue from Marion Square.

Cogswell’s victory was by a slim margin,  only winning by about two percent in a runoff election.

Before becoming mayor, Cogswell represented the South Carolina House of Representatives’ 110th district from 2016 to 2022. In the South Carolina House; he represented residents of the peninsula south of Calhoun St. as well as the parts of Mount Pleasant roughly west of I-526 and Chuck Dawley Blvd.

While running for the position of mayor, Cogswell campaigned on his promises to lower crime rate, alter zoning ordinances, take community consideration into infrastructure, and restructure the city’s municipal government. In November, Senator Tim Scott endorsed Cogswell’s bid for mayor.

Following President Joe Biden’s January 3rd announcement of his intention to speak at Mother Emanuel AME Church downtown on January 8th, the same day as Cogswell’s inauguration, Cogswell invited Biden to his inauguration. Biden did not make an appearance at the event.

Cogswell’s inauguration took place at noon on January 8th outside the Charleston City Hall with a public reception at 1:00 p.m. at Washington Square Park. Cogswell is the first Republican-affiliated person to hold office as mayor of Charleston since George I. Cunningham in 1877, marking the end of a Democratic hold on the office which spanned nearly a century and a half. The mayor of Charleston is not technically a partisan position, but its holders are typically affiliated with either major party.

Cogswell has made an effort to paint himself as a moderate, likely in order to ease the historic party transition. Regarding Tecklenburg, Cogswell stated, “He loves this city and I sincerely appreciate his graciousness during the transition.” In an interview later that day, Cogswell stated, “What I can say, be patient with me. I may fall down a few times. I mean, I’m human. I’m sincere in wanting to address the issues that we have.”

Cogswell’s staff includes Elizabeth Applegate Dieck as chief of staff, Logan McVey as chief policy officer, Deja Knight McMillan as director of communications, and Wendell Gilliard and Mika Gadsdens as special advisors, the former in regard to quality of life and community outreach and the latter in regard to community and environmental initiatives.

In addition to Cogswell, six Charleston city council members were sworn in: Boyd Gregg of District 1, James K. McBride of District 3, Karl L. Brady of District 5, Perry K. Waring of District 7, William P. Tinkler of District 9, and Ross A. Appel of District 11.

In his concession speech in November, Tecklenburg stated, “I’d like to ask each and every Charlestonian, everybody out there, to give him your support because starting tonight: when Mayor Cogswell succeeds, Charleston succeeds.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All THE TALON Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *