Peter Tecklenburg likely has landed the job of auditor, and become the first Democrat in two decades to win a Charleston County courthouse post.
In unofficial results, Tecklenburg had 54 percent of the vote, while his Republican opponent, Paul Gawrych, had 46 percent.
Tecklenburg, 32, will take the seat of Peggy Moseley, who has held the position since 1992.
“We worked hard and felt the message we tried to portray was something that folks could embrace,” Tecklenburg said.
He also said he thinks the post should be nonpartisan. And he campaigned as though it were nonpartisan, he said.
“We reached out to everyone we could,” he said.
Tecklenburg thinks voters simply want someone they can trust in the auditor’s office. And he wants to deliver that by “transparency and transcending partisan politics.”
Tecklenburg also has said he would refocus the office on hard work and customer service. He plans to work on spotting places where tax bills have fallen through the cracks and instructing his staff on the complex issue of heirs property, where a piece of land is owned by multiple family members.
Gawrych, 49, is a former Mount Pleasant town councilman. He said that if elected, he would meet with the staff first and have a good talk. He wanted things to improve in the auditor’s office.
The auditor’s job involves calculating property tax rates and mailing out bills, and the race seldom ranks among the county’s hottest political contests.
But that wasn’t the case this year.
The position of auditor is a full-time job that pays about $90,000 a year. Duties include supervising a staff of about 30 employees.
The winner takes office when the county’s new fiscal year begins July 1, 2013.
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.