Please see the entirety of Stephen’s Facebook Post

Dear Friends, I never aspired to politics as a kid or even as a young man trying to find my way in the world. I mostly chased my own idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But moving back to Beaufort in 2009 and attending the Leadership Beaufort program set my life on a totally different course trajectory. I became passionate about community development and threw myself into the world of non-profit boards, hoping to make a positive difference in my hometown. This led me to City Hall. I first ran for Council in 2014 and won a seat, ran unopposed for a second term in 2018, and then for mayor in 2020. Serving the last nine years as a member of Team Beaufort and the long list of other partners and associates has been the most challenging and rewarding “job” that I’ve ever held. I first ran for office because I saw several areas of local government where I thought we could do things differently. Candidly, I felt that leadership prioritized one demographic of our population over others. Census and economic data support my feelings, and you only need to speak to a young working person to verify that we’ve woefully neglected them. Jobs, housing, recreation, educational opportunity, and just a general feeling that Beaufort is not a place for young folks to live. We’ve been working hard to change this. In the past nine years, I’ve had an active leadership role in creating the Beaufort Digital Corridor, the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation, and the South Coast Cyber Center. In conjunction with our educational partners to whom I’m extremely grateful, we’ve expanded access and are providing training and jobs for our people in 21st Century careers that pay a living wage. These efforts are just getting started and will continue to produce opportunity thanks to their respective staff and boards, folks who are some of the most remarkable people in the Lowcountry. We’ve also transformed the city into a transparent and easily accessible local government. Online business licenses, livestreamed meetings that allow virtual public comment (pre-covid), all finances are online, a robust and clear strategic plan, and a public information effort that consistently provides information to local media outlets and our own social media channels across multiple departments. We’ve made investments in police, fire, and public works to ensure public safety and a clean well-manicured city remains a top priority. We navigated the Covid pandemic keeping our people safe while keeping our community open to recover stronger than ever. We’ve supported several hundred units of affordable housing and have been working with our partners to dramatically increase the number of affordable housing units across all income brackets. We’ve completed significant stormwater projects in Mossy Oaks and are about to embark on a tremendous effort downtown to fix existing stormwater problems while also creating resiliency for climate change. We’ve replaced the Waterfront Park playground and with a little council courage we’ll break ground on the long overdue Southside Park while also making significant improvements in Washington St. park, so our residents have safe and quality places to play. We’ve created strong regional partnerships with our neighboring municipalities, many non-profits, our military installations, and most of our utility providers. We raised almost $700,000 in funds and food for frontline troops in Ukraine and our sister city Ostroh. These are the highlights of the work from the past nine years that I’m most proud of. We’ve proved that local government can be responsive, that it can work with a robust list of partners to achieve shared goals, and ultimately provide high-quality daily services while also investing in our preferred future. This progress within city government has not come easy. Change is hard for a lot of people. Especially people who’ve had their hands on political levers for a long time. People who have advocated for their interests at the expense of many others. People who are not duly elected or operate in a transparent way. I’ve been actively fighting against some of these folks and the status quo for almost nine years. And while I’m proud of the work and I know there is still much to be done, I’m tired. I’m tired of the daily barrage of uncivil and rude people accusing me of impropriety without a shred of proof. I’m tired of the “he said, she said” middle school drama that is present among many of the folks that I’m required to work with outside of Team Beaufort. I’m also tired of prioritizing my civic job at the expense of my health, my family, my friends, my businesses, and my reputation. The City of Beaufort deserves a mayor that has their heart and energy fully committed to the job. A mayor who is fully committed to fighting the last bastions of the “good ole boys”, fully committed to responding to even the nastiest email with kindness, and fully committed to actively and consistently communicating their thoughts to the people they represent. I’d like to think at one time, not too distant ago, I was this mayor. But I do not feel like I am currently up to the task of the mayor I want to be, nor the one Beaufort deserves. I will forever be grateful for the relationships, the support, the kind words, the lessons imparted from so many of you. Local government and some of our partners are full of talented, caring, hardworking people that I have learned so much from. But I believe it’s time for me to focus more on my family, my friends, my businesses, and my health. Effective immediately, I hereby resign as the Mayor of the City of Beaufort and from all my affiliated board seats. The City is in capable hands with an amazing staff and dedicated council, and I am excited to watch our continued progress… as a private citizen. Be Well, Stephen D. Murray III

Stephen Murray Facebook Page


It’s been further reported that video footage has been requested of the incident between Stephen Murray and Cynthia Jenkins at approximately 10pm on the evening of Tuesday, September 12th, immediately after the conclusion of the city council meeting.

As background to this developing situation, Stephen and Ms. Jenkins were both stopped on the West side of the Carteret and Bay Street traffic light where Ms. Jenkins was trying to make a right hand turn to proceed across to Lady’s Island. Stephen then allegedly followed Ms. Jenkins across the Woods Memorial Bridge to Lady’s Island before allegedly pulling to the left side of her car at the Sea Island Parkway/Lady’s Island drive traffic light.

Ms. Jenkins was heading East to her home on Dataw Island. Stephen, on the other hand, lives downtown on Craven Street which is in the exact opposite direction and back over the Woods bridge over which both he and Ms. Jenkins had just crossed.

This makes one wonder why, at approximately 10pm and immediately after a 5 hour city council meeting, Stephen was not heading directly home to his family and would be following Ms. Jenkins out to Lady’s Island.

Nevertheless, at the Sea Island Parkway/Lady’s Island traffic light, Stephen is alleged to have turned on the interior lights of his SUV, rolled down the passenger side window, and gloated to Ms. Jenkins, “glad you drove back from Greenville today; hope you enjoyed the meeting tonight!”. Ms. Jenkins, who was on the phone at the time with her husband, was apparently, at a minimum, stunned by Stephen’s behavior.

It hasn’t been reported yet whether Ms. Jenkins feared for her safety at 10pm on Beaufort’s dark roads given that she apparently identified that someone was following and had pulled up beside her in a large SUV or that she was fearful for her safety when someone, Stephen Murray as it turned out, rolled down his SUV’s window and essentially mocked her.

Of note, downtown city cameras are apparently controlled by Beaufort city operations. It’s believed that any cameras at the intersection of Sea Island Parkway & Lady’s Island Drive are controlled by Beaufort County.

It’s also understood that several city council members are aware of this situation and actively involved.


It’s been reported that Stephen Murray followed and potentially menaced, in the 3rd degree, Cynthia Jenkins, the president of the Historic Beaufort Foundation (HBF), yesterday evening after the conclusion of the city council meeting.

The alleged incident occurred when a large SUV, driven allegedly by Stephen Murray, purposely followed Ms. Jenkins, who was stopped at the traffic light at the corner of Bay and Carteret, East across the Woods Memorial Bridge toward Lady’s Island. The SUV tailgated Ms. Jenkins before apparently pulling to the left of her car at the Sea Island Parkway/Lady’s Island Drive intersection traffic light. Stephen then allegedly turned on the SUV’s interior lights, pulled down the driver side window, leaned over the center consol, and said, “glad you drove back from Greenville today; hope you enjoyed the meeting tonight!”

Ms. Jenkins, who was apparently speaking with her husband at the time, was both startled by and fearful of this large SUV tailgating her at night. She was even more surprised to endure Stephen gloating and potentially menacing her once both vehicles were stopped at the Lady’s Island traffic light. Continue reading


After pursuing a two year vendetta, at 8:45pm tonight, Tuesday, September 12, Stephen Murray brought the executioner’s axe down on Historic Beaufort Foundation’s (HBF) 50 year dedicated seat on the city’s Historic District Review Board (HDRB). Josh Scallate and Mike McFee helped Stephen bring the axe down.

This act of treachery was against the wishes of approximately 50 people who attended tonight’s meeting, with approximately 15 people speaking out against the amendment, on top of the hundreds of Beaufortonians who have attended four previous city meetings.

Nevertheless, for Stephen, Josh, and Mike, voting in favor of the amendment was a foregone conclusion. Interestingly, Stephen pointedly made it a class issue by asserting that he was voting to eliminate HBF’s seat as it didn’t matter what your last name is nor how deep your pockets are nor which entities you’re part of, access to serve on the HDRB is open to everyone.

Of course, access to the HDRB is open to everyone! Access to the HBF is also open to everyone!

To Stephen, however, HBF and preservation in Beaufort apparently is an elite pastime run by people with prominant names, deep pockets, and elite organization membership. In fact, Historic Beaufort is Beaufort’s economic engine; it is the golden goose which drives employment for most everyone in Beaufort and which Stephen, Mike, and Josh have just cooked!

Stephen, Josh, and Mike showed how out of step they are with Beaufortonians’ wishes. Please remember all this in November 2024 when Stephen is up for re-election!