Local Veterans Dump Fry to Support Richardson

A group of local disabled veterans who initially supported Russell Fry for the 7th Congressional District Republican nomination because of the Trump endorsement, have decided to switch candidates and now say they will vote for Ken Richardson.
Several of these veterans were included in the veterans’ coalition helping the Fry campaign.
The reason for the switch, simply put, is Fry wouldn’t listen to concerns of the veterans. Richardson did listen.
“The veterans coalition was a way for Fry to get vets together to give him talking points,” said former coalition member Keith Brooks. “Russell never gave us more than a minute or two to hear our story. You can’t tell Russell anything,”
“Russell is trying to be just another career politician,” said Brooks. “The last thing we need is another self-absorbed ladder climber.”
The story the veterans wanted to tell was the personal difficulties they have experienced in trying to obtain medical care at the Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic at Market Common.

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Howard Spreading False Narrative of his Record in Campaign for Reelection

Horry County incumbent District 2 council member Bill Howard is another spinning creative reworking of history to influence voters in next week’s Republican Primary.
Howard tries to present himself as a council member who works for the people, but reading his campaign disclosure reports it is apparent that Howard is funded by the same developer and tourism cabal interests who also fund Mark Lazarus, Jenna Dukes, Johnny Vaught and Carla Schuessler to name a few.
In a recent mailer, Howard listed among his accomplishments, “Working hard to keep the budget balanced and keeping property taxes low. No increase.”
Howard is on record voting for the largest tax increases in Horry County history – 7.2 mils plus stormwater fee and road maintenance fee increases in 2015 and 7.5 mils and another stormwater fee increase in 2021. This is hardly the work of a council member bragging about “no increase.”
Howard listed another accomplishment as being “proactive in addressing flooding problems.” However, it its rating of the voting records of county council members on flood mitigation legislation , Horry County Rising rated Howard and Vaught tied for the bottom position.

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Cassidy or Schuessler, the Choice in House District 61

There is a distinct choice between the two candidates for the Republican nomination for House District 61, the new S.C. House district in Horry County.
Carla Schuessler is currently office manager of a full-service law firm. She is a former chairman of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
John Cassidy is a small business owner in Conway with a successful printing business over a number of years.
One significant difference between the two candidates that stands out from their campaign disclosure reports is where they spend their campaign money.
Schuessler sent out a mailer recently promoting her qualifications for office.
While claiming to be an advocate and leader for the local area, Schuessler’s mailer points out how Horry County continues to be a donor county to the state government. One sentence is particularly striking in its content:
“We need a leader and an advocate who will make sure that more of our tax dollars are spent at home and invested in our communities.”
Studying Schuessler’s pre-election campaign expenditures shows a total of $29,238 spent in round numbers. Of this total, a whopping 85% has been spent with out of area vendors.
Of Cassidy’s $26,529 spent on his campaign, a total of 82% has been spent with local vendors.

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Cabal Candidates Continue to Ignore History and Promote their Own Version of Political Reality

The longer this campaign season goes on, the more outrageous the misrepresentation from the developer and tourism cabal candidates about their records become, demonstrating their total disregard for the voters they claim to want to represent.
Actually, the only voters cabal candidates really want to represent are the ones funding their campaigns with large amounts of cash. Those voters, of course, are not sufficient in number to get any candidate elected, hence the necessity to roll out the lies about themselves and/or their opponents.
The tendency of cabal candidates to create new history was on full display during an event held at the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce last week.
Five candidates attended the event. Incumbent county council member for Horry County District 1 Harold Worley and his opponent Jenna Dukes. For county chairman were incumbent Chairman Johnny Gardner, Mark Lazarus and Johnny Vaught. Each candidate was given five minutes to speak about the issues.
Gardner and Worley have been especially targeted for defeat by the cabal.

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Which Candidate is Best Qualified to Lead Horry County School Board?

The race for the Republican nomination for Horry County School Board Chairman has contrasts among the candidates that should be looked at.
School boards are under attack nationwide in a concerted effort by the Club for Growth to change the makeup of school boards throughout the country for its own goals. Unfortunately, that effort has little to do with what is best for students.
Current school board member David Cox brings 14 years serving on the board, eight years as the member for District 9 and six as the current member for District 4. Cox has the overwhelming support of current board members in his run for chairman. Cox has the longest current continuous service on the school board.
Current school board member for District 6, Helen Smith, returned to the board in 2018 after a 16-year hiatus. Smith previously served as District 6 member from 1982-1996 and as board chairman from 1996-2002. Needless to say, much has changed in Horry County schools since she ended her term as chairman 20 years ago.
The third candidate for school board chairman, Darrell Ricketts, brings the most interesting curriculum vitae to the race.
Ricketts is retiring as a teacher at Socastee High School this year. However, his tenure in Horry County Schools is checkered.
Ricketts was once the principal at Aynor High School until he was caught changing the grades of over 20 students in order to make school performance look better. When that issue came to light, Ricketts was fired from his principal position and his principal certification by the S. C. Department of Education was terminated. The state left his teacher certification in place allowing him to serve as an agricultural education teacher at Socastee High School.

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Conway’s War Against Political Signs Spirals out of Control

Government officials in Conway have increased their war on political signs during this primary campaign season to a point that it has spiraled out of control.
Grand Strand Daily has learned that summonses with potential $1,000 fines, for alleged illegally placed campaign signs, have been issued to at least several more candidates in current primary races.
Most interesting is the June 13, 2021 date on the summonses for these cases to be heard in Conway City Court. That date is one day before primary election voting will take place at the polls.
Nothing in Horry County politics happens in a vacuum. One must wonder if certain Conway city government officials are attempting to influence the outcome of some of the races in the June 14th primaries?
Two weeks ago, GSD ran a story on this issue. At that time, blame for a summons and fine issued to one candidate was put at the feet of Conway City Administrator Adam Emrick due to prior statements he had made during a meeting of Conway City Council.
In the interim, several city council members have stated that candidates would be allowed to pick up their confiscated signs and no fines would be collected. However, with the escalation in the issuance of summonses, that does not now appear to be the case and city council members are now complicit for not doing anything to stop the problem.
Who is setting policy here, Conway City Council or Emrick?

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Fry Releases Cahaly Poll to Sow More Chaos and Confusion into 7th Congressional District Race

The Russell Fry campaign released poll results from Robert Cahaly’s Trafalgar Group purporting to show Fry leads in the race for the SC 7th Congressional District Republican nomination with 42% of voters preferring him.
The poll should come with many caveats.
Cahaly has consistently denied revealing his polling methodology in numerous interviews other than to say everyone lies, especially conservatives.
Cahaly blamed this tendency to lie on what is called social desirability bias. He was quoted as telling a New York Times reporter, “I just think people are not what they say they are, ever.”
Does that mean the supposed 42 percent who allegedly chose Fry in this supposed poll actually chose someone else but were put in the Fry column for some spurious reason?
How do you determine the correct answers to a poll if going in you believe the answers you will receive are lies? No wonder Cahaly does not reveal his polling methodology.
It must be noted that Cahaly correctly predicted the Donald Trump victory in the 2016 Presidential election.
However, Cahaly again predicted a Trump victory in 2020 with the opposite result.
But, that’s not the only reason I question this poll.

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Gardner, Worley Receive Top Grades from Local Flood Group

Horry County Rising, the group committed to strengthening local standards to help mitigate flooding, yesterday released its rankings of local county council members seeking reelection in contested primaries.
The mission of Horry County Rising is to establish stronger wetland protections, increase investments for stormwater infrastructure and fund flood mitigation projects to protect our communities from flooding.
The group based its rankings of the incumbents on four criteria:
1. Level of engagement
2. Level of cooperation
3. Level of action
4. Level of preparedness
Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner and Horry County District One council member Harold Worley received top grades from Horry County Rising.
Horry County District Eight council member Orton Bellamy placed third while Horry County Council member for District Two Bill Howard and current Horry County Council member for District Eight and candidate for chairman Johnny Vaught were tied for the lowest ranking.
Horry County Rising thanked its members for their engagement with elected county officials in the past several years, which resulted in Horry County Council passing the strongest flood protection standards in the state in December 2021.
However, there is more work to be done at both the state and local levels to further mitigate the potential catastrophic damages caused by flooding as the county experienced in 2016 and 2018.

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Lazarus and Vaught, the Siamese Twins of the Cabal’s ‘Reality Politics’ Show

The Myrtle Beach cabal and its chosen candidates are staging their very own political reality show during this campaign season. As with any reality tv show, it has nothing to do with reality.
Nor does it have anything to do with issues or the interests of the voters.
The programs on reality tv need conflict and tension to give them public appeal. This plotline is being recreated in the political arena by having the history of cabal candidates and their opponents rewritten.
What is at stake in this election cycle is whether the gains made in the last four years for the citizens will be allowed to continue or whether kowtowing to special interests will again be the order of the day.
Four years ago, when Horry County Chairman Johnny Gardner defeated Mark Lazarus, Johnny Vaught acted as a Lazarus surrogate attending the functions Lazarus didn’t attend and speaking for Lazarus at those events.
This time around, Vaught and Lazarus are both challenging Gardner’s reelection. Again, both carry similar false messages about what the county needs. They do not attend the same functions around the county and they are known to be meeting periodically, apparently to discuss campaign strategy.
Joined at the hip to give special interests an ally in the county chair, Lazarus and Vaught are the Siamese reality twins of this election cycle attempting to sow confusion, conflict and tension into the campaign for county chairman.

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Signs that Jenna Dukes Politics are Ugly

Despite putting a smiling face on all her campaign advertising, Jenna Dukes politics are proving to be the ugly, anything goes type of campaign that avoids reality like the plague.
Funded by the development and tourism interests, Dukes tried to play the nearly $100,000 in campaign donations that jump started her campaign as a signal that the citizens want a change in Horry County Council District 1.
The citizens have little to do with that amount. A campaign disclosure report filed with the SC Ethics Commission shows them to be the development and tourism industries, the Cabal as I call them, to be the ones who want incumbent Harold Worley defeated.
The first mailer from the Dukes campaign to voters appears to be a product of polling that identifies issues that most concern voters. So, a mailer is designed that promises to address these identified issues even though half of them do not fall under the purview of county council.
She promises to ‘fight’ for additional funding to raise teacher salaries and to provide students with safe and effective learning environments, both of which are issues for the Horry County School Board, not county council.
Dukes also promises to coordinate with healthcare providers to increase healthcare services throughout the county, even though its county council she’s running for, not applying for a job with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Why not address real issues that actually concern many of the voters in District 1 and throughout the county?

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