The Mayor Gets Polled

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg taking a phone poll about the upcoming mayoral race, with questions revolving around him and Councilman Mike Seekings. Devin Gosnell/Provided

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg received an unexpected call Sunday night from a pollster asking him about the job he's done.

Tecklenburg's campaign manager, Devin Gosnell, walked into the mayor's West Ashley home, saw his boss on the phone and wasn't sure exactly what was going on — at least not at first.

But campaign supporters had been buzzing all weekend about a new poll being conducted in the mayoral race, with questions that zeroed in on two particular candidates: Tecklenburg and City Council veteran Mike Seekings. Pollsters also surveyed Tecklenburg's top adviser, Rick Jerue.

"We laughed about it," Gosnell said. "We could not believe someone had commissioned a poll and forgot to strike the mayor himself, his family and his senior adviser off the call list.

"You don't see that much."

Tecklenburg said it was a fun way to end his weekend: He never had been polled about himself before.

"I hope they found my answers helpful," he said.

On Monday night, the mayor's son Joseph — who managed his dad's 2015 campaign — also received a call from the pollster.

Seekings' campaign confirmed it commissioned the poll.

"Our campaign believes every Charlestonian's voice is important," campaign spokeswoman Brittany Huskey said. "It was just a bonus that the mayor could take a moment for self-reflection."

As of Tuesday, seven candidates have filed statements with the state's Ethics Commission, including Tecklenburg, Seekings, City Councilmen Harry Griffin and Gary White, former Councilman Maurice Washington, and newcomers Will Freeman and Sheri Irwin.

The election is Nov. 5.

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Reach Mikaela Porter at 843-937-5906. Follow her on Twitter @mikaelaporterPC. 

Mikaela Porter joined The Post and Courier in April 2019 and writes about the city of Charleston. Previously, Mikaela reported on breaking news, local government, school issues and community happenings for The Hartford Courant in Hartford, Conn.