The Lowcountry's highest-profile election on Nov. 7 is Mount Pleasant's mayoral race, where voters will decide between incumbent Linda Page and Councilman Will Haynie in a contest that will shape the town's direction for the next four years.
Town Council has been roiled with how best to deal with its status as one of the nation’s fastest-growing towns, with lively debates over rezonings, impact fees and building moratoriums. It already faces several lawsuits from developers whose plans were blocked or scaled back.
The nonprofit Save Shem Creek, while technically not endorsing candidates, has been a conduit for channeling anti-development sentiment. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, has contended that excessive regulations curb property rights, make the town less appealing to businesses and cause housing prices to soar.
Town voters also will choose at least three new members of Town Council, as incumbent Gary Santos is the lone incumbent for the four open seats.
But Mount Pleasant isn't the only municipality with heated contests.
In Summerville, which also has seen its town council deeply divided over governance and growth, voters will choose council members in three districts — 1, 3 and 5 — potentially altering the balance of power there.
Voters in four of Charleston's 12 City Council districts — 2, 6, 10 and 12, mostly in West Ashley and on James Island — will choose between incumbents and challengers. Growth has loomed as an issue there, but so have other factors.
Several smaller towns in the tri-county area also will see council and mayoral races, including Awendaw, Isle of Palms, Lincolnville, Moncks Corner, Ravenel, Ridgeville, Seabrook Island and St. George.
And voters won't just be electing leaders.
In Charleston and on the Isle of Palms, voters will decide whether to support new bond issues. Isle of Palms voters will decide whether to give a green light to $5.5 million for revitalizing its city marina, while Charleston voters will decide on $20 million for affordable housing.
Not everyone will vote Tuesday. North Charleston has no municipal elections this year: They will all be held in 2019.
However, North Charleston voters who live in House District 113 can vote in a special election to fill the seat formerly held by state Rep. Seth Whipper. Two lawyers, Democrat Marvin Pendarvis and Republican Theron Sandy, are facing off there.
Following are the contested races and candidates:
Awendaw council (3 seats*)
Bryan McNeal Jr.
Charleston council District 2 (1 seat)
Charleston council District 6 (1 seat)
William Dudley Gregorie
Charleston council District 10 (1 seat)
Harry Joseph Griffin
Dean C. Riegel
Charleston council District 12 (1 seat)
Kathleen G. Wilson
"In order to assist with the acquisition, construction and equipping of safe and affordable housing for persons and families of low to moderate income, shall the City of Charleston be empowered to issue not exceeding $20,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds?"
Isle of Palms council (4 seats)
Michael G. Loftus
Justin D. Miklas
Ralph B. Piening
Susan Hill Smith
Isle of Palms mayor
"Shall the City Council of the City of Isle of Palms, South Carolina, be empowered to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the City in the principal amount not exceeding $5,500,000, whose proceeds shall be applied to fund the total cost of a two-phased Marina Revitalization Project, including upland enhancements and waterside enhancements at the Isle of Palms Marina?"
Lincolnville council (3 seats*)
Enoch Dickerson III
Tyrone E. Aiken
Charles B. Duberry
Leland M. Shannon
Moncks Corner council (3 seats)
Mount Pleasant council (4 seats)
Sean Barnes (dropped out)
Gary K. Santos
Mount Pleasant mayor
Ravenel council (3 seats)
Harold T. Buck Dukes Jr.
Laura L. Parker
James R. Rodgers Jr.
Jennifer Teaster Yohe
Ridgeville council (2 seats*)
Lorraine C. Grant
Seabrook council (4 seats)
John W. Gregg
John B. Wells
Seabrook Combined Utilities (1 seat)
S.C. House District 113
Marvin R. Pendarvis (D)
Theron Sandy II (R)
St. George council District 2 (1 seat)
St. George council District 6 (1 seat*)
Summerville council District 1 (1 seat)
Louis L. Smith
Summerville council District 3 (1 seat)
Summerville council District 5 (1 seat)
Kima Garten Schmidt
*Elections without enough candidates will use write-in votes to fill the seats.