By Paul Gable
Citing health issues of both himself and his wife, Sen. Dick Elliott (D-Dist. 28) told the Horry County Democratic Party Convention today that he will not seek re-election to his seat in November.
The longest serving legislator in Horry County history, Elliott began his political career when he was elected to the North Myrtle Beach City Council in 1962, just a few years out of college and a new real estate business owner in North Myrtle Beach.
Elliott served four years on the North Myrtle Beach council. After a two year hiatus, he served as chair of the North Myrtle Beach School Board from 1968-71.
He was elected to the first Horry County Council in 1976 after independent county government was established by the state’s Home Rule law. Included in his tenure on council was four years as Vice Chairman from 1976-80.
Elliott was first elected to the S.C. House in 1982, leaving county government to represent the north end of Horry County in the statehouse. He served 10 years in the House before being elected to his present seat in the Senate in 1992.
He has been continuously in elected office from 1976 to present, giving him 36 years of continuous legislative service at the county and both state levels.
Elliott made a tearful announcement to the party convention with son, Rick, at his side. No official announcement was made, but rumors on the floor were that Rick is considering filing to run for the seat being vacated by his retiring father.
Elliott has owned Elliott Realty Corporation since 1959. He developed Beachwood Golf Club in 1967 and remains its major owner. He is the owner of Eagle Nest Golf Club, which he developed in 1970. Elliott is also the president of BDY Investment Systems.
A long survivor of the tough Horry County political scene, Elliott leaves with sadness but no regrets.
He would have faced a tough re-election fight in the fall in a reorganized election district. Horry County Solicitor Greg Hembree has already filed as a Republican challenger for the District-28 Senate seat.