Sullivan's Island elected Councilman Pat O'Neil as its new mayor on Tuesday night.

He defeated Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Kaynard and islander Keith Blandford.

In unofficial results, O'Neil received 539 votes to 268 ballots for Kaynard. Thirty-one votes were cast for Blandford.

O'Neil will serve as mayor until May of 2017. He fills the unexpired term of the late Mike Perkis who died on Oct. 7 of pancreatic cancer.

O'Neil has been on Council for nearly 14 years. His election as mayor means that his Council seat will be up for grabs next May along with the seats held by Kaynard, Hartley Cooper and Mary Jane Watson.

O'Neil could not be reached for comment.

During his campaign, O'Neil said that supporters told him they were concerned about the direction of the island and felt his leadership would be important. Commercial district congestion, parking, conservation and preservation are key issues, he has said.

He will lead the town on a number of pressing matters including whether to have a paid parking system for beach visitors, construction of a new Town Hall and an upgrade to the aged wastewater treatment system. In addition, Sullivan's is developing a strategy for dealing with coyotes and determining how best to manage its nearly 100 acres of new shoreline.