By Paul Gable
Gray wins final council seat
Wayne Gray is the winner of the third council seat with a final vote total of 1977 to 1912 votes for challenger Jackie Vereen. Gray pulled out the victory after gaining votes from the malfunctioning voting machine in the Coastal Lane 1 precinct. Gray was three votes behind Vereen before the final votes were counted.
The 65 vote final margin of victory is beyond the 1% total vote margin that would require an automatic recount. The final seat on city council belongs to Gray.
Three incumbents were swept back into office in the Myrtle Beach city election Tuesday with one council seat still up in the air pending votes from a malfunctioning voting machine.
Incumbent Mayor John Rhodes and incumbent council members Randal Wallace and Mike Lowder won re-election easily. Incumbent council member Wayne Gray trails challenger Jackie Vereen by three votes with the outstanding votes from the malfunctioning machine expected to be reported Wednesday morning.
Based on the results already in, and what I expect will be the result of the third council race, there are no problems in the city of Myrtle Beach perceived by the voters.
With the race for the third council seat so close, I expect an automatic recount to be necessary. But, Rhodes, Wallace and Lowder are safe and the recount probably will not change the results of the third race.
One change we might expect to see is for the one cent local option sales tax for tourism to be made permanent. This will require a change of the current state law, but I’m sure it has the backing of the city council who will urge the county legislative delegation to get it done.
Other than that, the status quo will remain for at least the next two years. The Myrtle Beach Mafia will continue to rule the city and noblesse oblige will not be the order of the day.