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Daniel Rickenmann, Tameika Isaac Devine head to runoff for Columbia mayor

Councilmembers Tameika Isaac Devine and Daniel Rickenmann got the most votes in Tuesday's election.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia mayoral race is headed to a runoff between Daniel Rickenmann and Tameika Isaac Devine, after no candidate was able to get the required majority to win the race outright in Tuesday night’s election.

In final but unofficial results,  Rickenmann got 44 percent of the vote, with Devine second with 30 percent.  The two are longtime members of the city council. Sam Johnson finished third and Moe Baddourah finished fourth. 

A candidate would have needed more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.  Voters will head to the polls again on November 16 to choose who will next lead the city. 

Devine was the first African American woman elected to Columbia’s At-Large District in 2002. During her time on City Council, Devine worked to establish the City’s Criminal Domestic Violence Task Force and the Affordable Housing Task Force, co-chaired the Workforce Initiative Project (WIP), and aided the reorganization of the City’s courts system.

Rickenmann was first elected as an At-Large member in 2004 and served two terms before not seeking re-election. He was elected to represent District 4 in 2018. A business consultant, Rickenmann has owned and partnered to operate several restaurants in Columbia’s Five Points area, including Birds on A Wire, MoMo’s Bistro and Yo Burrito.

Columbia was picking a new mayor because incumbent Steve Benjamin choose not to seek re-election after 11 years in office.  Benjamin  was the city’s first African-American mayor. Benjamin said he was leaving to focus on his law firm and family.