Beaufort News

After Bluffton mayoral loss, Bensch to run to keep Beaufort County Council seat

Cynthia Bensch said she is not discouraged by her loss earlier this week in the Bluffton mayoral race.

The Beaufort County Councilwoman said Thursday that she plans to continue her political career through the next year and hopefully beyond.

"Of course I'm going to run again" when her first County Council term ends in 2016, Bensch said.

During her recent mayoral campaign, she had been mum about her plans if she failed to win Bluffton's top elected position. 

Bensch was defeated Tuesday by incumbent Lisa Sulka, garnering only 392 of 1,874 votes cast.

When she runs in next year's County Council election, she will have at least one Republican primary challenger.

Bluffton businessman Mike Covert announced in September he intends to run for Bensch's District 7 seat.

That district includes a large swath of greater Bluffton west of Old Town and east of Sun City.

"I think it's outstanding" that Bensch has decided to run for re-election, Covert said Thursday. "I welcome the competition. ... This (upcoming election) is going to be a lot of fun for the people of Beaufort County."

Covert said Bensch "sent mixed messages" to her county constituents with her Bluffton mayoral run.

"I think it's funny that she turned tail on the people in the county when (she sought) that office."

Bensch declined to comment on her sole challenger at the moment, saying only that she doesn't "know what his platform is."

"I'm not just talking. People can see what I've done," she said. "My (voting) record is out there."

Bensch said she learned a lot from her recent mayoral bid, despite its outcome, which will help her in future campaigns.

"I got to meet a lot of people and hear their concerns," she said. "It was the most enlightening campaign I've ever been part of."

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