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City of Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler officially announced his re-election bid.

“It is no secret my reason for seeking re-election. My most compelling reason for seeking re-election is Orangeburg is on a path to extraordinary accomplishments that we thought unimaginable eight years ago,” Butler said.

Butler became the city’s first African American mayor, winning the 2013 election. He was elected to a second term in 2017.

Now he is seeking another four years at the helm, Butler announced at a Monday evening ceremony at which he also opened his campaign headquarters at 920 Russell St.

“With the help of many who share my vision for Orangeburg, we have made tremendous strides in improving the quality of life for the citizens of Orangeburg while touching other various sectors of our community,” Butler said.

“I have been living on my promise and have kept my vision for Orangeburg for my decisions and my actions,” Butler said.

Butler touted recent developments and plans for the city as reasons why he should be re-elected.

“I want to point out that I have facilitated revitalization of a new veterans clinic in the Orangeburg community. I’ve provided stable governing during the current pandemic."

Butler also referenced securing $400,000 for the restoration of the boardwalk in Edisto Memorial Gardens, which was damaged in 2017.

“I led the charge for reopening the Samaritan House. We raised $500,000 through the citizens and the company; now our homeless do not have to sleep outside,” Butler said.

Butler cited future and ongoing plans to revitalize Railroad Corner and relocating City Hall to the former First Citizens Bank on Russell Street.

“We spurred economic development to beautify our beloved city. So we are on the move for getting the Railroad Corner done,” Butler said.

“We’re moving toward Orangeburg being more vibrant,” Butler said.

Several local officials endorsed Butler. Butler received the backing of Claflin University President Dwaun Warmack, Orangeburg County Councilwoman Deloris Frazier and Orangeburg County School Board Chairwoman Ruby Edwards.

They praised his leadership and his plans to continue efforts to revitalize the city.

Former Bowman Sen. John Matthews was not present but he has also endorsed Butler.

Orangeburg Rep. Jerry Govan spoke in support of Butler during the event.

Butler said his work is not done.

“We cannot stop now because there is more on the horizon for Orangeburg, and together we can soar with new levels of success,” Butler said.

“We must double our efforts to reduce crime, strengthen our economy, attract new industries, address health and education disparities. We must be steadfast for social justice and stem the racial divide. And we must seek to achieve common ground and channel our differences to have a good community,” Butler said.

Butler is being challenged by candidate Paige Waymer.

Current council members Liz Keitt, Richard Stroman and Jerry Hannah also have filed for re-election. They are currently running unopposed.

The Orangeburg general election will be held Sept. 14. 

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-596-6530

This article originally ran on thetandd.com.

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