Charleston mayoral candidates release new TV spots

Charleston City Hall

The air war in Charleston’s mayoral race is heating up, with hopefuls state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis and businessman John Tecklenburg going up with their first television ads.

They join nonprofit founder Ginny Deerin, who had unveiled three ads before any of the other five campaigns released their first.

And the ads hit markedly different notes.

Tecklenburg’s spot is a lighthearted introduction, featuring several people mispronouncing his Germanic last name — “Tecklenfuzz,” “T-Burg” and “Tecklenburger” — and the candidate cheerfully correcting them.

Meanwhile, Stavrinakis’ first ad touts his record on Charleston County Council balancing budgets, cutting taxes and increasing the county’s bond rating. He also vows to cut commute times by synchronizing traffic lights and finishing Interstate 526.

“Plans. Easy to make. Hard to make happen,” Stavrinakis’ ad begins.

While Deerin’s first ad focused on her transportation plan, her most recent spot focuses on her efforts to found WINGS for Kids, a nonprofit after-school program to help students improve their grades and test scores. “As mayor, I’ll turn good ideas into reality for Charleston,” she says.

Stavrinakis, Deerin and Tecklenburg have led in the race’s fundraising to date, giving them plenty of cash for ads. The other candidates include City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie, nonprofit consultant Toby Smith and former City Councilman Maurice Washington.

The election is Nov. 3, but if no candidates gets more than 50 percent, the top two will meet in a Nov. 17 runoff. City residents must be registered by Oct. 3 to be eligible to vote.

All six candidates are expected to participate in a mayoral forum on race equity from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday at Burke High School.

Reach Robert Behre at (843) 937-5771 or at