Mayor Bob or Mayor Steve?

Lines Being Drawn in Columbia Asphalt

Columbia may have one humdinger of a fight coming up in the near future. Word is local attorney Steve Benjamin is running to unseat Columbia Mayor Bob Coble. I’ve heard privately that Steve is definitely running, but hesitated to blog about it until I read Monday’s post by

“Mayor Bob,” as we all know him, already holds the record for service as mayor as he’s in the middle of his fifth term. If Steve runs, it will be Mayor Bob’s toughest challenge to date.

Politically, Steve Benjamin made his name when he was the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. Henry McMaster went on to beat Benjamin in the general election.

As I’ve written before, many times a loss can be a win. Benjamin’s loss was a great example of this. Since the election, he has become one of the best P.R. machines that I can think of as local boards, businesses and commissions can’t seem to get enough of him. Steve Benjamin is everywhere.
Historically, Mayor Bob has enjoyed the support of Columbia’s African-American community. Anyone would be bold to claim that he hasn’t earned it. Having Steve in the race changes the dynamics dramatically and makes for unchartered territory for the current mayor.

This race will be fun (but difficult) to watch. If the match up comes to fruition, it will be a battle of local heavyweights and an event that will test friendships throughout Columbia.


  1. Mayor Bob is interested in that new proposed ordinance going through that requires all landlords and anyone renting one room in their house to “register” and admit they have knowledge of all codes and are aware their property is in compliance. This waiver gives inspectors the right to enter your property or get a warrant if refused permission by the owner or the “agent” which you will be required to appoint and who will be required to fix all violations in your absence.

    After 4 hours of landlords and citizens testifying and enlightening the council with the unintended consequences of this ordinance things were shelved. Mayor Bob’s appointed task force made up of supposed input from community leaders came up with this manifesto but no one on council seemed to be familiar with it.

    Why don’t we talk about anyone but Bob Coble for mayor? He’s getting votes at our expense.

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