With most unofficial results counted, it appeared likely that at least one Charleston City Council race would go to a runoff election on Nov. 22, but all the council incumbents seeking re-election were poised to retain their seats.
In the most hotly-contested race, with five candidates competing for the District 3 seat serving parts of the Charleston peninsula and West Ashley, incumbent James Lewis Jr. was far in the lead with 70 percent of the vote counted.
However, Lewis needs more than 50 percent of the total vote count in order to avoid a runoff, and with 5 precincts still out it was too soon to say whether Lewis would win the seat outright or go to a runoff with Wilmot Alfred Fraser.
Lewis was holding just over half the votes with 5 precints still out, followed by Fraser with nearly a third of the votes. The remaining three candidates — Willard J. Sheppard, Bob Thompson and Luqman Rasheed trailed far behind.
Another possible runoff was playing out in District 11, serving parts of West Ashley and James Island, where candidate Bill Moody was far in the lead for the open seat. With about two-thirds of the votes counted, Moody had 49 percent of the votes while rivals Laura Dukes Beck and Andy Brack divided the rest nearly in half, with Beck slightly ahead of Brack.
In the open District 5 seat serving the incorporated sections of Johns Island and parts of southwestern West Ashley, Marvin D. Wagner was ahead of Michael Ray Mack. With 85 percent of precincts counted, Wagner had 56 percent of the vote.
Mack had made the point that, if elected, he would be the first Johns Island resident to hold the City Council seat representing Johns Islanders. Wagner lives in West Ashley.
Elsewhere in West Ashley, the District 7 seat will remain in the hands of the Waring family, with businessman Keith Waring easily winning the seat his father, Louis, held since 1994. Louis Waring, the 83-year-old elder statesman of City Council, did not seek re-election this year.
Keith Waring pulling in 85 percent of the vote to defeat rival Robert O'Brien, according to unofficial results with all precincts counted.
In District 9, incumbent Aubry Alexander, a real estate broker first elected four years ago, easily fended off a challenge from Bob Aubin, who was making his first run for office. Unofficial results showed Alexander capturing 84 percent of the vote with 11 of 12 precincts reporting.
The West Ashley district covers most neighborhoods at the eastern end of Sam Rittenberg and those off Old Towne Road.
"I'm just thrilled by the opportunity to serve District 9 for four more years," Alexander said. "Obviously they like the job I'm doing, and I'm having fun doing it."
Councilman Gary White was unopposed for re-election in District 1, which covers Daniel Island, the Cainhoy peninsula, and the southeast tip of the Charleston peninsula.