GEORGETOWN — Longtime Mayor Lynn Wood Wilson, battling controversy and a tough challenge from three City Council members, was easily defeated Tuesday in the Democratic primary.
The top two vote-getters, Jack Scoville, who earned 393 votes, and Rudolph Bradley, who had 384 votes, will face each other in a runoff June 23.
The winner takes on Republican Marty Tennant and petition candidate Bob Sizemore in the November general election.
Peggy Wayne, who garnered 276 votes Tuesday, will retain her spot on council because the seat isn't up for re-election until 2011.
Wilson, who was first elected to council in 1987 and was serving his fourth term as mayor, finished last with 161 votes.
"I am proud of what we accomplished. I am proud of being able to serve this long." Wilson said. "But now I congratulate Jack and Rudolph."
One of the city's first major undertakings after Wilson was elected to council was the multimillion-dollar revitalization of Front Street, which was the main business hub of Georgetown at that time.
The renovations included the construction of the Harborwalk boardwalk, now the centerpiece of downtown.
As mayor he helped spearhead efforts to get a new police headquarters built and has been a major supporter of the renovations taking place at the former Winyah Auditorium, which will be transformed into a performing arts center.
Wilson had his share of tough times as well.
Last month a circuit judge ruled that Wilson improperly voted on a rezoning in 2006 because, at the time, he was a real estate agent for the company that was selling the property being rezoned. Wilson is appealing the ruling.
Wilson made headlines across the state last year when he was accused of sexual harassment by the city's planning director, who has since resigned her post. Wilson denies the accusations.
In 1999 Wilson made national news when he refused to give a key to the city to comedian Chris Rock, who was born in Georgetown and whose mother, Rose Rock, still lives in the city.
At the time Wilson said he decided against presenting Rock with the award because he feels it should be given to someone "whose work and notoriety stems from activities all Georgetownians can be proud of."