Mayor Tecklenburg won’t be endorsing in presidential race

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg

Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley went with Democrat Hillary Clinton for president months ago. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey picked Republican Donald Trump last week.

But current Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg won’t be endorsing anyone.

The new City Hall occupant, who has been on the job about five weeks, isn’t going to publicly back any candidates ahead of either party’s primaries this month, be it Republican or Democrat, city spokesman Jack O’Toole said Friday.

Charleston’s mayor is selected in nonpartisan elections, but Tecklenburg historically leans Democrat in his politics.

North Charleston community activist Pastor Thomas Dixon on Monday will announce his bid to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott in November.

“Many South Carolinians have become tired of the partisan politics of our elected officials who place the will of their party above the will of the people,” his announcement said.

Dixon has never held office before. Among the causes he has advocated for in recent times is as co-founder of The Coalition: People United To Take Back Our Community, and as a member of Healthcare Workers United, a labor rights group pushing for higher wages and more minorities and women in leadership roles at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dixon’s announcement is set for 10:30 a.m. at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall on Morrison Drive in Charleston.

A College of Charleston political scientist says Gov. Nikki Haley’s endorsement of Marco Rubio for president should net Rubio an additional 4 percentage points.

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor last week before Saturday’s primary, Jordan Ragusa said that his research models from races dating back to 1988 shows that the incumbent governor’s message of support has netted the named candidate an additional 4 percent of the vote.

Ragusa did his research with two C of C students. Haley endorsed Rubio on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is among those in Washington who say Apple should assist the FBI in unlocking the iPhone of one of the terrorists who killed 14 Americans in San Bernardino, Calif., in December.

Top intelligence sources want Apple CEO Tim Cook to open the encryption safeguards built into one of the phones recovered after the two attackers were killed.

Apple is resisting, pointing to the privacy of its customers, potential long-term legal consequences and the fear that other governments could come at them with similar requests in the future.

“Our nation is at war, and this iPhone was used to kill Americans,” Graham, R-S.C., said. “We need to protect our homeland, not terrorists. To Tim Cook and Apple, cooperate with the FBI.”

The phone belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, were shot and killed by police as they drove in the area after the San Bernardino attack.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford has long held that Cuba, some 90 miles off the U.S. coast of Florida, should be open to U.S. travel. And last week, the 1st District Republican said President Barack Obama got it right in agreeing to visit the communist island nation in March.

“Although I am certainly not in agreement with much of the president’s actions, I want to give credit where credit is due regarding his upcoming trip to Cuba — the first sitting president to do so in almost 90 years,” Sanford said.

He went on to note that everyday Americans are denied this travel freedom because Cuba is the only country where U.S. citizens cannot visit due to outdated 1960s travel restrictions.

Sanford last year joined a bipartisan effort to lift the ban under the proposed “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act.” He called it a matter of personal liberty.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who grew up in Greenville, will be stumping across the state this week in a get-out the vote effort. Stops are planned in Columbia, Winnsboro, Rock Hill, Irmo and Chester.

Democrats

On Feb. 21st, Bernie Sanders will be in Greenville at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for a rally beginning at 5 p.m.

Hillary Clinton will address the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Wednesday in West Columbia.

CNN will host a town hall Tuesday from 8-10 p.m. with both candidates on the University of South Carolina campus.

Compiled by Schuyler Kropf and Diane Knich.