CMCC PAC Endorses Candidates for Local Races

WRITTEN BY Charleston Chamber 5 years ago

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October 21, 2013
Charleston, S.C. – The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (CMCC PAC) has released its endorsements for Mayor of Mount Pleasant, four at-large seats for Mount Pleasant Town Council, and Charleston City Council. After reviewing candidate questionnaires and extensively interviewing candidates seeking contested seats;

CMCC PAC Board of Advisors voted to endorse the following candidates:
Mayor of Mount Pleasant – Linda Page
Mount Pleasant Town Council – Ben Bryson, Elton Carrier, Paul Gawrych, and Timm Gipe
Charleston City Council – Mike Seekings District 8

The purpose of the CMCC PAC Board is to identify and support candidates to run for public office at the city, county and state level whose goals support that of the Chamber’s business advocacy priorities. CMCC PAC Board Chairman David Dunlap said, “This is an important election in Mount Pleasant and in the City of Charleston to determine the direction of our region going forward. I believe the candidates we are endorsing today have the same vision and align with the Chamber on many key issues.”

The endorsed candidates share certain key characteristics of an ideal candidate, including:

  • A strong commitment to economic development and a skilled workforce
  • Knowledge of the need for infrastructure in our region for growth and quality of life
  • The drive to make our region the best place to live and do business
  • An understanding of the business climate in our region

We live in a great place and businesses have noticed. Our region is growing at such a fast pace we need leaders like these who are forward thinking and understand the needs of businesses and residents alike.” said Stuart Whiteside, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Chairman. “These leaders are going to have to make tough decisions that impact the future of our community. I feel the CMCC PAC Board has done a fantastic job of selecting the candidates who will make those tough decisions and have the courage to do what’s best for the greater good. Our PAC Board had some hard decisions to make but the candidates we are endorsing today have the qualifications, vision and experience to lead our region.” said Bryan Derreberry, Chamber President and CEO.

About the candidates:
Linda Page currently serves on Mount Pleasant Town Council and has owned and operated Page’s Thieves Market since 1981 after taking over for her parents. Page is also a member of the National Auctioneers Association and serves on the Women’s Advisory Board at East Cooper Hospital.
Ben Bryson is a small business owner of Bryson Properties-Dick Luke Company, Inc. Bryson currently serves on the Mount Pleasant Board of Zoning Appeals and the Charleston County Board of Assessment Appeals. Previously he has served the community on the Board of Creative Spark for the Arts and the Lowcountry Housing Trust.

Elton Carrier has served on Mount Pleasant Town Council since 2009. In 2010 he retired from First Federal Bank of Charleston after 35 years in the industry. Carrier serves on the Board of Directors for the East Cooper Habitat for Humanity and Engaging Creative Minds.

Paul Gawrych is a small business owner of Asphalt Concepts and has served on the Mount Pleasant Town Council three different times, the first being in 1995. For 15 years Gawrych has served the Mount Pleasant community coaching children for the recreation department.

Timm Gipe, a successful realtor for 40 years, recently launched Gipe Partners with his daughter in association with Carolina One Real Estate. Gipe previously served on Mount Pleasant Town Council from 1981-1983. Gipe also serves on the Charleston Trident Board of Realtors and is District Director of the Citadel Alumni Association.

Mike Seekings is currently serving out his first term on Charleston City Council. An attorney, Seekings is a partner at Leath, Bouch, & Seekings, LLP. He also serves on the South Carolina Bar Association and on the board of the Cooper River Bridge Run Committee.

About the Chamber PAC: The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce PAC is a separate organization from the Chamber, governed by an independent board of directors. The PAC’s mission is to evaluate and support candidates for local and state office who acknowledge, support and actively vote for pro-business policies and legislation. Learn more at

About the Chamber: With 1,700 members representing over 80,000 professionals, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce serves as the collective voice of the business community and a catalyst for advancing the region’s economy and enhancing members’ success through Advocacy, Innovation, Talent and Business Advancement. Learn more at

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