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A carriage tour goes by Charleston City Hall on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Lauren Petracca/Staff

On Aug. 3, columnist Steve Bailey wrote that it takes a lot of money to run a political race. He’s right. How would we feel about politics if we elected people to leadership positions based on merit instead of how much money they spend on advertising? Is this the way our Founding Fathers envisioned this newly birthed republic?

Mr. Bailey states nothing has been done in the past three years under Mayor John Tecklenburg’s leadership. That is the most accurate statement in his entire article. No one can dispute that things got done quickly, effectively and without rancor during the period before Mr. Tecklenburg took office.

So what is the true cause of the stagnation? It is a failure of both leadership and communication of the current administration. One of the first actions undertaken by Mayor Tecklenburg when he took office 3 years ago was to assign a handler to each member of City Council. Mr. Tecklenburg described them as “liaisons” between him and City Council. A real leader doesn’t create barriers to separate himself from council. A real leader builds coalitions among those he depends on to get things done.

Based on Mr. Bailey’s suppositions, what is important to win this election is money, being able to get things done, having the support of City Council, and being able to relate to the entire city.

I have a track record of getting things done during my tenure on City Council. Just one example from this year is the groundbreaking of the new Daniel Island Recreation Center, a project that I led from start to finish.

I have the support of my colleagues on City Council. I have been endorsed by seven current and former City Council members with more to come.

I am a native Charlestonian, I was raised in West Ashley and James Island.

I worked for decades on the peninsula and have also represented downtown Charleston for 12 years on City Council. I was one of the first families to build on Daniel Island. How much more local can you get?

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Really, Steve? A two-man race? Thank God the voters of Charleston take time to educate themselves on all the candidates and not take your comments to be gospel.

I agreed to run for mayor of Charleston when my fellow City Council members urged me to do so. My family has been a part of this city’s history for many generations. My uncle was the city attorney for 27 years, my great-great-grandfather was the warden of the Old City Jail.

I want my family and all of Charleston to continue being proud to live in our great city. That is why I’m running for mayor. I want to spend my time finding solutions for our citizens, not just raising money.

My family helped build and shape our city. It is now my job to help preserve it. We are One Lowcountry, One Community, One Charleston.

Gary White is a member of Charleston City Council and a candidate for mayor.

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