Tinkler drops out of Charleston mayor's race

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston mayoral candidate Paul Tinkler announced Wednesday morning he would drop out of the race to become the next mayor of Charleston.

In a statement addressed to "the people of Charleston," Tinkler said campaigning and maintaining a law practice had become increasingly more difficult to balance.

"My campaign staff and supporters deserve a candidate who is fully able to give 100% to the race during the remaining two months," Tinkler said in the release. "Their efforts and contributions have carried me this far and have given me a voice in this race.  Their confidence in me is supremely gratifying."

He said the election is shaping up to be a "much-needed debate about our city's future," adding that only such a debate can keep Charleston the "best city in the world."

After Tinkler's announcements, other candidates, praised his commitment to Charleston.

Leon Stavrinakis called Tinkler "a class act" after Tinkler's announcement had been released to the public.

"As a lawyer, city councilman, and community leader, Paul has devoted most of his career to the betterment of Charleston and for that we should all be very grateful," Stavrinakis said in a statement. He said Tinkler's "strong voice" would be missed on the campaign trail and hopes Tinkler will run for public office again.

Candidate Ginny Deerin called him "the smartest guy in the race," adding, "He's smart, funny and has the highest integrity."

"I'll miss him on the campaign trail, but know he'll continue to be a major leader in our community," Deerin said.

John Tecklenburg described Tinkler as "a fine man, a good friend and a respected public servant who's always had the courage of his convictions."

"From the start of this race, he has brought both a sober focus on the issues and a welcome sense of humor to the campaign trail -- two things that are in short supply in modern politics," Tecklenburg said in a statement.

Tinkler thanked his supporters and his family for their support and said, "I can only hope that I have made my own contribution by giving our community some useful ideas."

Among the priorities Tinkler's campaign listed on its website were renewal of areas outside Charleston's main peninsula, improvements to transportation, and keeping Charleston affordable, safe, and livable for everyone.

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