Charleston mayoral forum postponed after two female candidates excluded
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A forum to allow voters to hear from the city of Charleston’s mayoral candidates on Tuesday was postponed after one candidate said she and the other woman running for the seat were excluded from the event.
The decision to postpone Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s event came after mayoral candidate Mika Gadsden said the forum intentionally excluded her and Debra Gammons.
According to Gadsden’s campaign, the chamber used proprietary information, website information, news reports and word of mouth to decide who would take the stage.
The other four candidates: William Cogswell, Clay Middleton, Peter Shahid and John Tecklenburg were all set to attend the forum.
Her campaign called the decision to exclude the only two women in the race a mistake.
“What kind of message does it send to the community when you exclude only the Black women running for mayor?” Gasden’s campaign manager Treva Williams said.
In postponing the event, Charleston Metro Chamber spokesperson Erin Aylor said the event would be rescheduled to allow all candidates to participate and prepare. The new date was not immediately set.
“Our program was designed to provide our members with a chance to hear from the leading candidates running for this position,” Aylor said. “We understand this created an environment that did not include all candidates.”
The Chamber went on to say it “values the feedback we have received from the community and are committed to continuing to listen and grow as we collectively work to make our region equitable for all.”
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