Pryor remains head of council

Teddie Pryor

City of North Charleston

Teddie Pryor remains chairman of Charleston County Council for now, but that's only because none of the three candidates nominated for the post garnered a majority of the vote.

Pryor and Councilmen Vic Rawl and Dickie Schweers were nominated for the chairman's post Thursday. Council voted twice, but none of the three nominees had a majority of the vote in either of the two rounds.

County attorney Joe Dawson said the group's rules require it to elect a new chairman in January of each year. The rules are silent on what to do if the group fails to do that, he said, but it is his opinion that Pryor should remain chairman until next January.

Dawson also said council could bring up the matter again for another vote.

After Thursday's council meeting, Councilwoman Colleen Condon said she thinks council members will call for another vote soon. Condon, who didn't vote for Pryor in either of the two rounds, said, "I would certainly expect it to be brought up at next week's meeting. It's clear that six council members do not support the current chairman."

In the first voting round, Pryor and Schweers each had four votes and Rawl had none.

Council members Henry Darby, Elliott Summey, Anna Johnson and Pryor voted for Pryor. Council members Condon, Joe Qualey, Herb Sass and Schweers voted for Schweers. Rawl abstained.

In the second round, each of the three nominees garnered three votes. Darby, Johnson and Pryor voted for Pryor. Qualey, Sass and Schweers voted for Schweers. And Condon, Summey and Rawl voted for Rawl.

Pryor and Rawl are Democrats and Schweers is a Republican.

After the meeting, Schweers questioned why Summey twice voted for Democrats. Summey today will hold a press conference to announce that he is switching parties. He ran and landed his council seat as a Democrat, but plans to join the Republican Party.

Schweers said it appears that Summey actually was trying to block him from being elected.

Summey voted for Pryor in the first round and Rawl in the second round.

Schweers said he thinks he would have landed the position of chairman if Summey had voted for him either time. "The new Republican blocked a Republican from being elected chairman," Schweers said.

Council also elected Summey over Condon for vice chairman with a 5-3 vote. Pryor, Darby, Johnson, Qualey and Summey voted for Summey. Sass, Schweers and Condon voted for Condon. Rawl abstained.