Ginny Deerin, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley’s former campaign manager, has filed paperwork with the State Ethics Commission to run for mayor this year. Deerin would be the first female in the race.
Reached by phone, Deerin said she is not ready to formally declare her candidacy but that she was required to file now because of the amount of unsolicited donations she has received from people encouraging her to run.
A “couple thousand dollars,” she estimated. “I’ve filed but I’m not ready to be official or announce yet,” she added.
State law requires candidates to file a financial declaration after raising their first $500 for political office.
Deerin, a fundraiser, most recently was the Democratic candidate for secretary of state in the November election. If she does commit to the mayor’s race, she also would have some key insights to the city’s voting patterns, having worked in Riley’s campaigns “off and on” for the past 40 years.
She was the official campaign manager during his last run in 2011. That role could give her insight into where the city’s stronger voting blocs and leaders are, as well as deep-pocketed sources to approach in terms of fundraising.
“Any time you have experience and have studied something as closely as I did, you learn a lot,” she said.
Deerin recently moved into the city from Sullivan’s Island, renting a townhouse in the Bees Ferry Road-S.C. Highway 61 part of West Ashley.
“West Ashley is the part of the city that I really need to learn and feel and experience,” she said. “I want to sit in traffic; I want to feel it.”
Charleston’s mayoral field so far includes businessmen Dick Elliott and John Tecklenburg; two former City Council members, Paul Tinkler and Henry Fishburne; and current Councilman William Dudley Gregorie. Riley is retiring this year.
A formal decision is still weeks away, Deerin said. “There’s no reason to rush,” she said.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.