Ashley Peele is making history in North Charleston this year as both the first female candidate and the first LGBTQ+ candidate to ever run for mayor in the city.
Peele is a native to the city, born there in 1985. After making her way through North Charleston’s public school system, she attended Clemson University as a first-generation college student and returned to the city of Charleston, where she now lives with her wife.
Peele is set to run against Kieth Summey, incumbent mayor of 25 years, as well as Thomas Dixon, Floyd Dotter and John Singletary.
Peele’s platform is one that emphasizes continuing the growth of the young city, while not neglecting the people that helped build it into what it is today. According to her website, Peele plans for “equitable and sustainable growth” in North Charleston, which has some of the highest eviction rates in the country, through affordable housing initiatives. Peele plans on establishing a department of housing, which the city currently lacks.
In addition, Peele plans on tackling issues of public safety. With the recent murder of Denali Berries Stuckey, a black, transgender female, from North Charleston, as well as violent acts taking place across the United States, public safety is at the forefront of many voters’ minds, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community.
The city of North Charleston currently does not have a hate crime ordinance in place, and Peele is an advocate for hopefully replicating the City of Charleston’s recent hate crime ordinance.
In addition to support from the community she grew up in, Peele has been endorsed by ‘Run For Something’, an organization which encourages and supports the campaigns of “young, diverse progressives.” Peele’s candidacy shows the continuation of the “Blue Wave” phenomenon across the United States, a movement to elect young, left-leaning- or, “blue”- candidates.
Peele’s candidacy will come to a close with the North Charleston mayoral election on November 5th, 2019.