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New mayor inaugurated for South Carolina’s capital city

January 5, 2022 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Daniel Rickenmann, a longtime Columbia city councilmember, has taken office as the new mayor of South Carolina’s capital city.

Rickenmann celebrated his inauguration Tuesday in an outdoor ceremony by the city hall, news outlets reported.

In a speech, Rickenmann pledged to work on reducing taxes and streamlining city government to keep Columbia business-friendly. He said he also wants to increase homeownership and create generational wealth, as well as keep communities safe.

“We’ll be a compassionate city that doesn’t just help people get along, but helps every community thrive,” Rickenmann said. “We will make sure that the sidewalks, the streets, and the schools in every corner of this city are clean and of a quality that make our residents proud.”

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Backed by Republicans, Rickenmann won a runoff in November against fellow city councilmember Tameika Isaac Devine.

He is the city’s third mayor in just over 30 years and succeeds prominent state Democrat Steve Benjamin, who decided against seeking a fourth term in office.

Rickenmann, a businessman who has owned several restaurants and moved to Columbia in 1988, was first elected to the city council in 2004.