Nonprofit groups schedule forum for Charleston mayoral candidates

Local nonprofit groups are beginning to schedule mayor candidate forums. Long-time Charleston Mayor Joe Riley has annouced he will not run November.

A group of local community organizations is holding a public forum for Charleston mayoral candidates in September, which will explore quality-of-life issues such as growth, affordability and the local economy.

The forum will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Charleston Music Hall. It is sponsored by Lowcountry Local First, the Preservation Society of Charleston and the South Carolina Community Loan Fund.

All candidates are invited to participate. Candidates who so far have agreed to participate are: Ginny Deerin, Dick Elliott, Henry Fishburne, John Tecklenburg and Paul Tinkler.

Longtime Charleston Mayor Joe Riley has said he will not run again in November.

Another forum, the first event of the campaign, already has been set for Feb. 23. The Coastal Conservation League, the Historic Charleston Foundation and other nonprofits plan to hold a luncheon forum at the Francis Marion Hotel.

Dana Beach, the league’s executive director, said the format for the meeting isn’t yet set, but the idea is to begin a discussion of what the next mayor could — and should — try to do.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.