Riley casts vote in attempt at 10th term

Mayor Joe Riley waves to voters on Monday morning. (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Mayor Joe Riley cast what is expected to be his last vote for himself as mayor on Tuesday. Riley hopes to serve a 10th term as Charleston's mayor.

"It's a great day," Riley said after casting his vote. "It's a beautiful day."

It's a day, according to Riley that the focus should be taken off candidate back-and-fourth and placed on the future and needs of Charleston. He said whether reelected or not, he hopes for a good voter turnout.

"I urge all citizens to vote today," Riley said.

Polls are open until 7 p.m.

In 1975 when Riley first ran for mayor, he had no idea he would serve the city for 36 years. He only expected one term. Under his leadership, Charleston has increased commitment to racial harmony and progress, achieved a substantial decrease in crime, experienced a revitalization of its downtown business district, built Waterfront Park, developed nationally-acclaimed affordable housing, and experienced growth in size and population.

He said those accomplishments, as well as the support of the community, is what drove him to seek a 10th and final term.

"For me this is a tribute to the citizens of Charleston," Riley said. "The reason I have continued to seek terms and to serve is them -- their goodness and their inspiration."

Elected or not, Riley hopes the legacy left behind is that the community will know he worked hard for Charleston.

"I worked as hard as I possibly could and effectively for the citizens of Charleston and increasingly made this the best city in America to live and work and raise our children," he said.