Local News

Columbia City Mayor Race Candidates

These individuals have tossed their hats into what some have called a much-needed change for Columbia, but would these people really be a change for Columbia?

Tameika Isaac Devine (@TIDEVINE) | Twitter
Tameika Isaac Devine

Tameika Isaac Devine is notably known for being the first African American Woman to be elected to Columbia City Council, over 19 years ago. Devine, a Democrat, is an attorney who graduated from USC School of Law and a founding partner in her Law Firm Jabber & Isaac, PA.

On her campaign page, she is credited with restructuring the city courts and was instrumental in establishing the criminal domestic court and the nationally recognized homeless court.

Ms. Devine’s Policy Platforms come in the following issues:

  • MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER
  • RECOVERING FROM THE PANDEMIC
  • SPENDING TAX DOLLARS WISELY AND GROWING OUR ECONOMY
  • BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CITY
  • GUARANTEEING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
  • CREATING AN EQUITABLE COMMUNITY
  • DEVELOPING AN ECONOMY THAT EMPOWERS EVERYONE
  • LEADING IN EDUCATION

These are what some call basic political issues. What has concerned some of Ms. Devine’s critics are the facts that she has been on the council for such a long time and has agreed with the current Mayor Stephen Benjamin on many issues.

Devine’s Campaign Steering Committee is comprised of Rep. Leon Howard, Rep. Vince Ford, former Council Woman Anne Sinclair, Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford, Paul Bouknight, Senator Mia McLeod. Sinclair was known for not getting involved in any major political issues while she served on the city council. Naida Rutherford the wife of Rep. Todd Rutherford, who has come under political fire in several instances. And Sen. Mia McLoud who’s own voting history as a House Representative and Senator has raised some questionable reviews.


Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson a follower of current Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin since working for his campaign in 2009. Johnson who is also an attorney at Nexsen Pruet, serves as a member of numerous organizations such as:

  • South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, Chair
  • The Nickelodeon Theatre, Executive Committee
  • Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (Experience Columbia), Board of Directors
  • SC PASOs
  • Midlands Technical College’s Human Services
  • University of South Carolina Alumni Association Board of Governors
  • Talented Tenth
  • South Carolina Philharmonic’s Advisory Board
  • Teach for America SC
  • Harvest Hope Food Bank
  • SC State Museum
  • Senior Resources
  • Columbia Opportunity Resource

On Sam Johnson’s campaign page he speaks of his focus on the mental health aspects of Columbia’s First Responders and their need for evaluations, aiding them in coping with the difficulties they encounter. He also speaks on the need for a Chief Health Officer for Columbia who would oversee a Citywide Covid-19 vaccination plan and other such duties.


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Daniel Rickenmann

Daniel Rickenmann, the only non-career politician in the race speaks on his campaign page about completing already overdue projects for the city of Columbia and thereby generating the drawing in new industries. He also speaks of using local businesses to maintain that community feel for the city of Columbia.

Daniel Rickenmann was an owner and partner in several small businesses in Columbia and currently is still invested in several ventures.

Rickenmann is what some are calling the new blood for Columbia. He seeks to rejuvenate an already historic city.

His platform issues are:

  • Prioitizing Public Safety
  • Supporting Small Buisneses
  • Repairing Infrastructure
  • Building Better and More Affordable Housing
  • Creating Job Opportunities that offer Advancement
  • Generate Growth by Finishing Projects
  • Bringing Innovations to our City Government

Moe Baddourah

Moe Baddourah, announces his intention to seek the position of Mayor of Columbia. Baddourah may be familiar to some in the local government political arena. He served on the City of Columbia Council before but was removed by Gov. Henry McMasters. Baddourah was removed from his position District 3 Council Seat due to charges of Domestic Violence. After completing pre-trial intervention the charges were dropped. Baddourah was officially removed for “crime of moral turpitude” by McMasters

Baddourah laid out five priorities for his mayoral platform in a Thursday release: fighting corruption, expanding public safety, improving infrastructure, eliminating business license fees for small businesses, and supporting tax incentives to companies who bring jobs to Columbia.

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