Teddie Pryor Sr. Announces Candidacy for Mayor of North Charleston
On April 13, 2023 Teddie Pryor Sr. joined the mayoral race for the City of North Charleston. Below is the speech given at the event. —
"Good morning. I am here today to announce my candidacy for mayor of the City of North Charleston. With my experience as County Council Chairman for 8 years and a member of the County Council for more than 19 years, I come to you prepared and ready to lead the City of North Charleston and its citizens on day one!
Over the last decade, we have experienced tremendous growth in businesses located here in North Charleston, creating hundreds of new good-paying jobs. And as the next Mayor, I look to continue creating success in the state’s 3rd largest city, North Charleston!
As chairman of the Charleston County Council, I was instrumental in negotiating with business and political stakeholders in creating one of the most significant economic developments in the county: the investment by the Boeing Company. I worked tirelessly with stakeholders such as then-Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, S.C. Senate Finance Chairman the late Hugh Leatherman, and members of our House and Senate delegation. In addition to Boeing, the county was able to lure prominent aerospace companies that service Boeing, such as Senior, Eaton, and Pacific Rim.
Under my leadership, 38 major companies set up operations in the county, including Cummins Turbo Technologies, DaimlerChrysler, MWV Specialty Chemicals (now known as Ingevity), and Streit USA Armoring. The investment by these corporations totaled $2.7 billion and created 10,834 jobs.
One of my first acts as Chairman of the County Council was to craft a diversity policy to promote equality, equity, and inclusion within the council's workforce.
As a result, procurement for minorities rose from 3% to 18%; the portion of African Americans who made more than $50,000 a year rose from 7.4% to 30%, and the number of African Americans who headed departments rose by 250%. When the council allowed contributions for outside agencies to assist individual communities, contributions to African American organizations rose from $13,000 to $150,000 per year. African American businesses also began procuring million-dollar contracts.
A yearly summer youth program was put in motion where up to 100 high school and college students received employment at no cost to taxpayers.
While as Chairman, I led the county’s financial team to New York to meet with bond rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Group to revisit the county’s credit rating. The venture was a great success as the rating rose from AA+ to AAA. It was the first such rating in the county’s history. The new rating allowed the council to immediately refinance the county’s bonds at the lowest interest rates, resulting in savings of $6 million for taxpayers.
As your Mayor of North Charleston, one of my goals will be caring for our elderly. I pledge to build a senior center on the city’s southern end for seniors that provides transportation to and from it. I will also explore the opportunity to give our seniors free transportation to places in North Charleston, like grocery stores and medical buildings. These steps will significantly improve the quality of life for our seniors.
We know that homicide and other violent crimes devastate cities in human and economic terms. As Mayor, I pledge to commit to saving lives by stopping violence. I will create a plan to engage key stakeholders focused on the highest-risk people and places. I will work directly with our police department to develop and implement to focus on preventing violence, not just making arrests, and on working with citizens and community partners. Violent crime is a deadly serious challenge, but it is also a solvable one. I pledge to tackle it head-on.
To quote our 26th President of the United States of America, Teddy Roosevelt, 'It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory not defeat.'
Please join me in my quest to continue the progress of all citizens of the City of North Charleston. I am Teddie Pryor Sr, a proven and experienced candidate for Mayor of North Charleston. Thank you."