Riley 'cruises' to victory

Mayor Riley, on the right, watches the results come in with his granddaughter and a supporter on Tuesday night. (Justin Peterson/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) --{}40. That's the number of years Joseph P. Riley, Jr. will have served as the City of Charleston's mayor when his 10th and final term is done.

Riley said he "cruised to victory" while surrounded by a crowd of supporters at Jason's Deli in West Ashley on Tuesday. He will serve the city for four more years. Riley took home 68% of the vote, beating out his four other challengers.

"Our opponents threw torpedoes at our campaign ship. They filled them with untruths, with crude flyers, and outrageous misrepresentations," stated Riley during his victory speech.

During the next four years, Riley promises many changes including the new cruise terminal downtown.

"We will work with the ports authority to have our harbor deepened in order to build our downtown industry," Riley said.

Mayor Riley also spoke about the controversy surrounding an extension of I-526. He says the extension{}will happen.

"It does no good for the community to silence it, to snarl traffic, and have dangerous roads that cause unnecessary accidents and unnecessary deaths," stated Riley.

The mayor also promises to continue to improve schools throughout Charleston County.

"We're going to work with our school district to build our new schools as wells as new schools west of the Ashley, Harborview, and Stono Park," stated Riley.

Riley stated Tuesday that he also wants to focus on the city's recreation.

"We are going to extend the river walk along the Cooper River, and we will fix the drainage in the Crosstown," stated Riley.

The mayor also has plans to build a senior center in West Ashley, extend Glenn McConnell Parkway, and build an African American museum.

Riley was first elected Mayor of Charleston in December of 1975, and according to an article by The New York Times, he is the longest sitting city mayor in the country.

He said he only expected one term out of that 1975 election. He said support from the community{}is what pushed him to seek reelection nine times.

"For me this is a tribute to the citizens of Charleston," Riley said of his 10th term. "The reason I have continued to seek terms and to serve is them -- their goodness and their inspiration."