Horry County Council incumbents cruising through the primaries | Election
The incumbents of Horry County Council swept away Tuesday’s Republican primary, while assuring that there will only be a new face on the board next year.
Council members Cam Crawford, Dennis DiSabato, Danny Hardee and Gary Loftus have each beaten the main challengers, unofficial results show. With no Democratic opposition in November, they are ready to keep their seats.
“We can continue to do what we have been doing,” said Councilor Gary Loftus, who won his fourth term with 65% of the vote in his race against journalist Ian Guerin. Loftus said he plans to focus on improving public safety services over the next four years. He added that while some challengers have criticized the county’s response to flooding, council members have tightened stormwater regulations and many developments that have flooding issues were built before these codes were created.
“We have them now,” he said. “And we hold people’s feet to the fire, despite what you might hear.”
Crawford and Hardee could not be contacted immediately Tuesday evening.
DiSabato, who won his second term, said he intends to work with county staff to build a county government complex in Carolina Forest, including a new police station. He also hopes to lay the groundwork for the construction of an interchange connecting Augusta Plantation Drive, Revolutionary War Way and SC 31.
“I am obviously very happy and humbled,” he said. “I am delighted to have four more years to represent the people of District 3.”
DiSabato defeated Karon Mitchell, a Myrtle Beach native, former college teacher and hotelier, by getting 60% of the vote. Crawford topped former bartender and mortgage lender Jeremy Halpin by a comfortable margin (Crawford got 62% of the vote) and Hardee easily retained his seat by garnering 73% of the vote in his race with group manager Loris High, Stephen Whisnant.
In the District 9 race – the only one with no incumbent – there will be a second round in two weeks between Mark Causey and Terry Fowler.
Causey, a real estate agent, received the most votes (1,343), but it was not enough to secure a majority in the second round. Fowler, a retired police officer, received 1,071 votes while Rome, the son of Horry County Councilor Paul Prince, came third with 780 votes and Marshall Russell finished last with 130.
In Horry County Clerk’s Republican Primary, incumbent Renee Elvis defeated challenger Angie Altman-Robbins. Elvis got 65% of the vote.
There will be a second round in the race for the Horry County auditor.
Deputy Auditor Beth Calhoun received the most votes (14010) on Tuesday, but not enough to avoid a run-off with Deputy County Treasurer RA Johnson (12,354 votes). Accountant Clark Parker finished a distant third (8,118 votes). The winner will replace longtime auditor Lois Eargle, who is not seeking another term.
The second round will take place on June 23.
In the SC State House primaries, incumbents Heather Ammons Crawford, R-Socastee, Kevin Hardee, R-Loris and Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach, prevailed.
“This is the expression of the people of District 107 and I am grateful to have the confidence of my constituents again to come back to Colombia and represent them to the best of my ability,” said Clemmons, who beat lawyer Case Brittain. Ammons Crawford beat US Army veteran Mark Epps in his run and Hardee beat former newspaper editor Steve Robertson.
Clemmons stayed at the Conway election office on Tuesday night to try to get answers as to why the votes took so long to count.
Tuesday’s primary results were delayed for hours as election officials grapple with technical issues, poll worker errors and tallying the results of thousands of missing ballots submitted amid COVID concerns. 19. The Racepath 1 enclosure at Conway was not included in the final total, but the 212 votes from that enclosure will not change the outcome of any race.
Dena Huggins, a supervisor at the county elections office, said Racepath 1 had an issue where a polling officer removed a USB drive before the votes were tallied.
Staff at the local elections office were in talks with state election officials until nearly midnight on Tuesday and Huggins said she hoped all issues with the Racepath 1 compound were resolved. here Wednesday afternoon.
These aren’t the only major issues on Tuesday.
In at least four constituencies, polling station staff received complaints about the improper distribution of ballots to voters. The problem is that some constituencies provide ballots for more than one county council district. For example, a constituency may accept electors from districts 3 and 4 of Horry County Council, which are limited to each other. This means that election officials would have separate ballots not only for Republicans and Democrats, but also for voters in different districts. In the Adrian Quarter, located at the Academy of Technology and Academics, voters come from three city districts: 7, 11 and 10.
“This is why we are trying to move away from separate districts,” said Sandy Martin, executive director of the Horry County Registration and Elections office. “Because we always have this.”
Another challenge, said Martin, is that this is the first election with these styles of voting.
“It’s very confusing,” she says. “[Poll workers] have been trained, but you know they come in and they get nervous. … It’s a completely different way of doing it from what we’ve been doing for years and years.
The Election Office had primarily received complaints about the distribution of bad ballots in the communities of Myrtle Beach and Socastee, although candidates and voters raised concerns about the ballots in the Conway and of Loris.
Martin said about 50 constituencies have more than one voting council district there. She wasn’t sure exactly how many ridings and voters received the wrong ballots on Tuesday, but she had no indication the problem was widespread.
If voters see a problem with their ballot, she said, they should alert polling officers at that time, not call later.
“We can’t do anything after they’re already gone,” she said.
Many local voters have opted for postal votes this year.
Spurred on by concerns about COVID-19, state lawmakers allowed absentee voting “without excuse,” meaning those who wanted to vote by mail did not have to meet any of the criteria they wanted. are generally required to meet to qualify for this option.
As of Tuesday afternoon, county election staff had received about 7,000 mail-in ballots and about 2,500 people voted in person at the polling station.