Local Election Meanderings

By Paul Gable

If you were looking for change in last night’s local election results, as I was, this morning, at best, brings  mixed feelings.

Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach voted for the status quo while Conway voted for change.

Incumbent council members Phil Render and Mike Chestnut were joined by former council member Mary Jeffcoat  in capturing the three city council seats up for grabs in Myrtle Beach.

Pals of the incumbents, often called the Myrtle Beach Mafia, were successful in keeping former mayor Mark McBride from the winners circle with a series of negative, attack mailers in the final week of the campaign.

I guess the tourism development tax and the north end of the city will be safe for at least two more years while the rest of the city is ignored.

Atlantic Beach voters returned incumbent mayor Jake Evans. Longtime council member Josephine Isom and Jacqui Gore won the two council seats in the race.

Will overgrown, vacant lots, in locations that in any other town would be high end real estate, still be the rule of the day in Atlantic Beach?

Barbara Blain-Bellamy is the new mayor of Conway ousting incumbent Alys Lawson by a fairly wide margin. Two incumbents, Tom Anderson and Larry White were joined by newcomer Ashley Smith to win the three city council seats in the race.

As Blain-Bellamy said in her campaign, she has the time and the experience to lead a city council that will look to benefit the entire city.

In the special Republican Primary for the open Horry County Council District 3 seat, New Jersey transplant Bob Kelly led the ticket with Myrtle Beach native Bubba Owens finishing second.

The two will meet in a primary runoff November 17, 2015, to determine who will face Democrat Jimmy Washington in the special general election December 22, 2015.

The only thing that can be said about the race at this point is Kelly and his cohorts threw everything negative they could think of at Owens during the campaign and Owens is still standing for Round Two of the voting.

With Kelly and his campaign consultant claiming (quite absurdly) Owens has a “22 year violent criminal” history, I expected Owens to be accused of being the ‘man on the grassy knoll in Dallas’, even though he was born four years after JFK was assassinated.

That’s about the only thing Owens wasn’t accused of in Round One, but we still have two weeks to go and everyone in the South knows the legacy of Carpetbaggers.


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