AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon is facing opposition in this year’s city council election. Two Republican candidates have thrown their hats into the ring.
Teddy Milner and Kathryn Wade filed to run in the race last month. Milner, the owner of ‘It’s All Good’ restaurant, vows to keep downtown vibrant and maintain the city’s charm. She’s pushing for transparency in the government and an end to closed-door decision-making.
“I have vowed to hold open meetings, and I’d like to engage the neighborhoods around Aiken to have representatives from their neighborhoods to talk with me and tell me their concerns and needs,” she said.
Wade is an Executive Director at Life Choices Pregnancy Care Center. She also wants to protect the city’s charm, prevent over-development, and address homelessness.
“We have a homeless coalition. We have a Salvation Army that has a shelter. And I think that having the mayor’s office come along, side them to, to develop a plan to handle what we have,” Wade said.
Rick Osbon has been Aiken’s mayor since 2015, addressing neglected infrastructure, including traffic and water treatment. The owner of Osbon’s Laundry and Cleaners focused on bringing more development downtown.
“We’re very excited about the labs bringing their administrative team here, as well as the partnership between USC, Clemson, SC State, bringing all that, all that knowledge and, just intellectual capital to our community,” Osbon said.
The trio has plans for Hotel Aiken.
“I’d like to see it turned into something wonderful. I personally would love to see a boutique hotel,” Teddy Milner said.
“I would love for something to be built there that would resemble the old Aiken Hotel so that we could have that nostalgic downtown look,” Teddy Milner added.
“We’d like to see something, something done to it, but in a way that that certainly is within the character of our city and main maintains that character that we all love and expect,” Rick Osbon shared.
Meanwhile, the Republican nomination primary is set for August 8.
A runoff will be held two weeks later if necessary.
The Republican winner will run uncontested in the general election on November 7.