SC capital's first black mayor unhurt in wreck

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The new mayor-elect in South Carolina’s capital city was not hurt in a wreck as he drove to Columbia television stations for interviews.

WIS-TV reported Steve Benjamin was involved in an accident about 6 a.m. Wednesday several blocks east of the Statehouse.

Benjamin won a run-off election Tuesday, getting 56 percent of the vote over City Councilman Kirkman Finlay III. Benjamin will be Columbia’s first black mayor.

WIS reported Benjamin was checked by medical personnel at the scene and did not go to the hospital. Richland County Emergency Medical Services spokesman George Rice says a woman in the other car was taken to a hospital in fair condition.

Her name was not released.

Police are investigating how the wreck occurred.

Benjamin won the election earlier this month by about 1,000 votes, but fell well short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

Benjamin is a 40-year-old father of two whose political experience includes leading the state Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole for three years.

Benjamin will replace Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, who decided last year to step aside after 20 years in office.

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