Charleston County Council will vote tonight on who will hold the positions of chairman and vice chairman in 2013. To win, a candidate must have the votes of at least five of the nine council members.

Question: Who is expected to land those positions?

Answer: Itís likely that county leadership wonít change. Teddie Pryor, a Democrat, likely will remain chairman for the fifth consecutive year. Elliott Summey, a Republican, likely will hold on to the vice chairman post for the fourth consecutive year.

Pryor and Summey represent portions of North Charleston. Pryor works as the tourism coordinator for the city of North Charleston. Summey works as the senior vice president for real estate developer Weber USA and is the son of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.

Pryor said four council members have told him they support him holding onto the position, which including his own vote would give him the majority.

Summey said he thinks he, Pryor, Anna Johnson, Henry Darby and Vic Rawl will vote for Pryor for chairman. Summey also said he thinks the same five members will support him holding the vice chairmanís seat.

It remains unclear who else is in the running for either the chairman or vice chairman post.

Q:What does the chairman do?

A: The chairman has the authority to set agendas and appoint members to committees. He or she also makes an additional $3,000 per year. All council members are paid an annual salary of $14,352 for their part-time service.

Q: Why does it matter who holds the position?

A: The chairman to some degree can influence the outcome of major decisions facing County Council, because he or she has control of meeting agendas and committee appointments. County Council likely will make important decisions this year on Interstate 526, the Sea Islands Greenway, a tax-increment financing district for Kiawah River Plantation and the future of its solid-waste program.

Q: Are there any interesting politics in this race?

A: Yes. Summey, who ran for his council seat in 2008 as a Democrat, switched parties last year and now is a Republican. But he plans to vote for Pryor, a Democrat.

Summey said he originally considered a run for the chairmanís seat but didnít have the support of fellow Republicans, so he offered his support to Pryor. Summey said Pryor has demonstrated great leadership, especially in the way he handled the controversial decision to complete I-526.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.