West Ashley nonprofit consultant Toby Smith enters Charleston mayoral race

Toby Smith has entered the Charleston mayoral race.

Toby Smith announced Tuesday that she will run for mayor of the city of Charleston.

Smith is a West Ashley resident, grant writer, nonprofit consultant and associate minister at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Union Heights. She is the seventh person to declare her candidacy and the second woman to enter the race.

Smith was born in Charleston, but grew up Philadelphia. Her family moved back to the area in 1977. Smith graduated from Middleton High School in 1981 and the University of South Carolina in 1985.

According to a release from her campaign, Smith has extensive international and domestic professional experience, including eight years working for the federal government. She also worked for the Charleston County School District, coordinating its first bond campaign. She’s an experienced radio broadcaster and writer.

“Getting involved in the nonprofit world really changed my life,” Smith stated. “I learned so much by helping other organizations write their IRS applications, develop programs, devise budgets, find resources, write grants and select personnel.”

Since 2013, Toby has been the executive director of Midland Park Community Ministries in North Charleston. “We call it ‘the little pantry that could.’ Midland Park strives to help everyone in need.”

The mayoral race will be Smith’s first run for public office. Her goals include bringing people on “the edges,” such as groups of people facing higher rates of unemployment, into discussion on local issues; completing the International African American Museum; and dealing with growth in West Ashley.

Smith said the next five months leading up to the election are going to be exciting. “I have a passion for Charleston ... and I really want to be her next mayor.”

To learn more about Smith, follower her on Twitter @tobysformayor or email her campaign at tobysmithformayor@gmail.com.

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