Peggy Moseley leaves race for auditor
Embattled Charleston County Auditor Peggy Moseley has decided not to seek re-election to a sixth term, county Republican Chairwoman Lin Bennett said.
"Peggy called me this morning and said she is not seeking re-election," Bennett said Saturday. "She's had a tough week. It was probably a good decision on her part."
Her decision comes just days after The Post and Courier reported that she used a county car to file for re-election but had no plans to reimburse the county. Public equipment can't be used in campaign work under state law, unless the campaign reimburses the taxpayer.
Moseley, who could not be reached for comment Saturday, strongly defended her use of the car, but that wasn't her only controversy during the last year.
She also faced sharp criticism for a slow implementation of a new county tax computer program that delayed the mailing of tax bills -- and for a questionable property tax break she received on her Johns Island home.
While many county courthouse officials cruise to re-election without opposition, Democrat Peter Tecklenburg, a former transportation planner, and Republican David Engelman, already have filed for the seat.
Bennett said she expected a negative campaign. "She (Moseley) has done this job for a long time, and she deserves to take a break now," Bennett said. "It was a surprise, but she's got to do what's best for her. … I'm glad to see her go out on a good note."
Moseley's departure could prompt more candidates to enter the race.
Tecklenburg released a statement accusing party leaders of handpicking Moseley's replacement, "which is nothing other than a desperate attempt to keep things the way they are."
Moseley first was elected auditor in 1992. The auditor is a full-time position that pays about $91,000 a year and is responsible for setting property tax rates with input from local government and for overseeing other aspects of the property tax system.
Filing for auditor and other state and local offices ends at noon Friday.