Obie sworn in as new Berkeley County council member

During a special ceremony Monday in Berkeley County Council Chambers in Moncks Corner, Michael Baxley, senior vice president and general counsel for Santee Cooper, swears in Phillip Obie II as District 3 council member. Left to right: Obie’s father Philip Obie, Phillip Obie II, Obie’s wife Kayla, and Baxley.

Berkeley County Council officially gained a new member on Monday. Phillip Obie II was sworn in to Council’s District 3 seat, which represents portions of Goose Creek, Spring Grove Plantation and Foxbank Plantation.

“I think it’s been a while since we’ve had someone in the Goose Creek area represent Goose Creek properly,” Obie told a small crowd gathered inside Council Chambers.

With 66 percent of the vote, the Republican councilman beat out Democratic opponent Tory Liferidge in a special election last month, the county said.

Obie fills a seat formerly held by Ken Gunn, who passed away from cancer in February. Gunn had served since 2013.

Obie is not new to the political scene; the Berkeley County native held the title of Berkeley County school board member from 2008 to 2016. Obie said it was his desire to preserve quality of life in the county that prompted him to jump back into politics.

During a brief speech after the swearing-in ceremony, Obie again addressed his goals for the county — goals he said he and the rest of the council plan to “face...head on,” starting during Monday’s scheduled council meeting.

“We’ve got a lot of things that we need to face among us,” Obie said. “You know it’s not only the district; it’s the county in terms of controlling growth in our area.”

During the campaign trail, Obie stressed the need to help curb local growth, along with his belief council should help secure more funding for county schools and first responder agencies. He also touched on fixing infrastructure and preserving green space.

Obie graduated from Goose Creek High School and The Citadel and is currently employed as a “group leader” for Santee Cooper’s Solid Fuel and Rail Transportation Group.

Michael Baxley, Santee Cooper’s senior vice president and general counsel, helped conduct Obie’s swearing-in. Baxley is also a retired circuit court judge for South Carolina’s Fourth Judicial Court.

“I appreciate everybody’s support in getting here...and continuing on through this journey in serving the people very well,” Obie said.