By Paul Gable
The special Republican primary election for SC House District 106 has taken some absurd turns in the past two weeks.
The Republican primary runoff between Russell Fry and Tyler Servant will be held Tuesday August 11, 2015 with the winner gaining the nomination and almost assured election since there will be no other candidates on the ballot.
A Facebook post followed by an attempt to turn this post into a credible story saw Fits News question whether the Confederate flag would play a part in this election.
Susan Chapman claimed to change her preference from Russell Fry to Tyler Servant because Fry said he would have voted to take the flag down while Servant said he would have voted for a referendum on the flag.
Evidently Chapman prefers a candidate who passes the buck to one who can make decisions. I don’t pay any attention to what Chapman says, but, does this mean she no longer supports Lindsey Graham who was also outspoken about the flag coming down?
Then, questions about Servant’s legal residence and his affinity to dodge live forums and questions emerged.
According to a report in the Sun News, Servant claims his residence as a house that has been rented to tourists for 56 days over this tourist season.
Attempting to explain the situation, Servant was quoted in the story as comparing his situation to legislators spending several nights a week in Columbia during the legislative session.
“It’s not an issue” Servant was quoted as saying. “If it was an issue that would make every single legislator in the state of South Carolina have a residency problem since they go to Columbia six months out of the year, every week for two days.”
Oh really – are all the legislators renting out their houses each week while they are gone?
I don’t know who came up with that analogy, (you must remember, Servant requires all questions from the media to be emailed, apparently allowing his “brain trust (?)” to work on the answers. But, whichever idiot thinks that analogy makes sense should be summarily fired.
In the one live forum Servant did finally attend last week, he complained about Fry outspending him in this election cycle. Isn’t this disingenuous from a candidate who spent more money ($145,000), to get elected to his county council seat, than any candidate has ever spent on a county council single member district election?
Many people are of the opinion Servant “bought” his current position on county council. It’s hard to refute that.
Servant blamed missing candidate forums for the SC House District 106 primaries on family emergencies. That may be, but, this is a pattern he established when running for County Council District 5 and has continued through the current campaign.
It seems he is only comfortable in situations where he can have prepared scripts to follow. Live give and take with the voters is to be avoided at all costs.
The same is true of Servant’s short tenure on county council.
Since March, Servant has claimed to have a plan called the Employee Waste identification and Elimination Program. But, there is no plan. All he had was a several paragraph resolution calling for the possible development of a plan for next year’s budget cycle.
Servant was unsuccessful in getting the resolution onto county council agenda at the July 7, 2015 meeting of council. It had the appearance of a campaign stunt and council chairman Mark Lazarus said it had to go through the committee process.
Referred to the Administration Committee for its July 30, 2015 meeting, the resolution failed to obtain a motion to even bring it up for discussion.
The grand plan had about 10 seconds consideration from council before being discarded.
Other than the plan that isn’t, Servant’s seven months on county council have been highlighted by the number of times he has recused himself from votes and one Facebook rant the day after council voted on a new contract for county administrator Chris Eldridge.
According to a majority of council members, the rant cost Servant dearly in credibility with other members of council. Many have told me if he doesn’t get elected to the House, the remaining three and one-half years of his term on council will be very cold for the young man.
Disregarding Servant’s lack of effectiveness on county council to date, his campaign mailers tell us:
“Tyler’s experience working at the State House, (as a page), and conservative record on County Council make him uniquely qualified to be an effective advocate for our community from day one.”
Who dreamed that one up? I think it’s a lot of bunkum, a term that dates back to an 1820 political speech in the US House of Representatives, something I’m sure neither Servant nor his campaign consultants know the history of.
And the latest get out the vote mailers, from the Servant’s father, which hit mailboxes yesterday, are really over the top. Asking voters to vote before lunch, then, text or call a number to report to the campaign that you have voted. Why not just hire a fleet of cars and go throughout the district strong arming voters to the polls?
To me, this has the sound of desperation. This is the first campaign in Horry County I can remember where a father sends out a mailer begging you to vote for his son. I can sympathize with a father supporting his son’s candidacy, but, there is a point where the son has to be a grownup and stand on his own merits.
But, it’s not only about getting elected folks. It would be nice if you had some idea of what to do once you get in office. On that score, Servant is lacking, regardless of mailers professing leadership and experience.
However, there is a special primary runoff election Tuesday. Regardless of who you support, if you live in SC House District 106, get out and vote.