CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Citing family and business obligations, Charleston businessman Dick Elliott dropped out of the Charleston mayor's race Friday.
"Since October, I've worked hard to successfully manage three important priorities in my life: organizing a campaign for mayor of a city I love, positioning my business interests to operate without my day-to-day involvement, and fulfilling my responsibilities to my extended family," Elliott said in a statement. "In recent days, I have realized I cannot meet all three of these important obligations at the level they deserve."
Elliott said he would be devoting his capabilities and energy to the well-being of his family and the 260 employees of Maverick Southern Kitchens, who he credits with helping to build one of Charleston's best hospitality enterprises.
"The opportunity to be mayor of Charleston – to provide the leadership and management skill needed to ensure all citizens enjoy the benefits of being part of a great city, was an exciting prospect – the ultimate civic service," Elliott said in the statement. "The last 25 years of community involvement and business building have taught me, however, that there are many ways to serve. I look forward to continuing to contribute all I can to preserving and nurturing Charleston as a wonderful place to live."
In January, Elliott said meeting the needs of the suburbs should be next in the city's future.
"Downtown Charleston is not all of the city," Elliott said. "The city includes all the suburbs from Daniel Island to Red Top."
Elliott said the decision to launch his campaign was carefully considered, and said "only significant developments" compelled his decision to bow out of the race.
Elliott said all contributions would be returned within 30 days and all appropriate steps would be taken with the South Carolina State Ethics Commission.