By Paul Gable
A little over a week remains until the November 6th general election and several thousand absentee ballots have already been cast in Horry County.
Horry County voters began a movement of change in the June Republican primaries for Horry County Council Chairman and S.C. House District 104 by nominating Johnny Gardner and William Bailey respectively.
The same happened in a special July Republican primary for Horry County School Board Chairman with businessman Ken Richardson coming out on top.
All three were successful because they connected with average citizens.
Throughout his campaign Gardner spoke of putting “Public Safety Priority One Day One” and charging fees on new development to help pay for the impact it causes on county goods and services, both issues that resonated with the general populace.
Gardner will look to fully staff all categories of first responders so that citizens will have the protection of persons and property that they expect. This has been an area ignored by county government for too long.
Bailey promised to stop tax hikes and reduce government spending at the state level, end corruption and demand transparency in government and give first responders the tools they need to protect our homes and families.
One of Bailey’s goals will be to bring more tax dollars generated in Horry County back to the residents. Horry County has been a donor county to other areas of the state for years and our current legislative delegation has done little to change the situation.
Richardson described his “passion for education” and his intention to manage the school budget to avoid tax increases.
Richardson will look to change the governance policy of the school district so that the elected Board of Education sets policy with the appointed staff carrying out the board’s policies rather than determining their own.
Gardner, Bailey and Richardson are each unopposed in the general election but they still need voters to come out to demonstrate support of their goals.
These three candidates represent change from Horry County’s traditional ‘good ol’ boy’ politics to listening to the citizens who pay the taxes, provide the jobs and expect the support of their elected officials.
Vote on November 6th for the candidates of your choice and help change the politics of Horry County.