Family politics: Mayor, son split over candidates

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump asks if media members are going to eat as he sits down for lunch Thursday with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey at Fratellos Italian Tavern in Park Circle.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said he supports Donald Trump for president in Saturday’s Republican primary because he’s the best choice to get the country moving again.

“I think that America is broken, and I think he is the one person that possibly has the best chance of straightening it out because of his extensive business background,” Summey said at Fratellos Italian Tavern in Park Circle. He and Trump shared lunch there Thursday.

The backing could be significant if Summey, a 22-year incumbent, can get North Charleston voters to follow suit. The city is the third-largest in the state with a population of about 105,000.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s son, Elliott Summey, chairman of Charleston County Council, disclosed moments after his father’s announcement that he is supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Marco is the only one running who has the ability to quickly unify our party and attract new voters to our side,” he said.

Both Summeys have had dealings with the Trump family, mostly through one of Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. He is an investor in a company renovating the former Charleston Naval Hospital — purchased from the city of North Charleston for $5 million and primarily leased to Charleston County for office space.

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Trump Jr. also contributed $1,000 to Keith Summey’s mayoral campaign fund in 2015.

Donald Trump owns commercial property in North Charleston in Stark Industrial Park, through a company he controls called D B Pace Acquisition. Trump’s company acquired the former Titan Atlas Manufacturing property in January by foreclosing on a loan.

Before Saturday’s vote, Trump is scheduled to finish his South Carolina campaign with a rally Friday at the Charleston Area Convention Center complex beginning at 7 p.m.

David Slade contributed to this report.