Aiken’s mayor-elect looks to take things ‘one step at a time’

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 5:16 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Teddy Milner will soon start a job that goes beyond owning a restaurant in downtown Aiken.

“I’m just a goofy restaurant owner who loves to see the town, the city, move forward in a positive way,” Milner said.

After the election results came in, it was confirmed Milner would be the first female mayor in the city’s history. Seeing it finally come to an end gave her a sense of relief.

“I’m elated that it’s all over because I didn’t realize it’s gonna be such a long drawn out process,” she said.

This was the third election Milner had to campaign for.

After a 14-vote win in August to beat incumbent Mayor Rick Osbon for the Republican nomination and stand alone on the ballot, Milner knew the job still wasn’t done. On Tuesday, 30% of the votes cast were write-ins.

“I expected that,” Milner said. “That’s why my campaign team was so forward-thinking. We took a couple of days to regroup after the runoff and then we started our third campaign, so it worked out.”

With 1,000 write-ins, that’s not a concern for Milner.

“Well, there are 20,000 people that are registered, so that is a small amount of people,” she said.

She’s now ready to move past elections and be ready to work come Nov. 27 when she’s sworn in during the Aiken City Council meeting.

“I’ve been asking everyone what they want, what the kinds of things that they are looking to change or talk about and I want to run the meetings with kindness and respect. I would like to engage anybody who wants to come and talk to the city council and when they will be treated in a fair way, by me anyway,” she said.

One project on her list is Hotel Aiken.

“We need to address the Hotel Aiken. And that was it. That would be a wonderful addition to have something vibrant going on there. But there are a lot of things, and we’ll just take one step at a time,” she said. “I’ve spoken with a question of people that are in the city, about their ideas and feelings on it and everyone has thought so far everyone is very positive about moving forward and doing something wonderful with that space.”

So far, she’s been preparing to take the office by watching council meetings online, meeting workers of all the different city departments to get a better understanding of their roles, and most importantly, she says, listening to the people of Aiken.