The next 14 months are going to provide interesting political times in Horry County. During that period, the cities will hold elections this coming fall and county and state primaries will be contested in June 2022.
Electioneering has already begun.
Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson is already making a strong bid to replace Tom Rice as the South Carolina District 7 representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Two people have been spreading the word around the county that they intend to challenge Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner in the June 2022 primary.
Mark Lazarus, who Gardner unseated in 2018 with what is probably the biggest upset in Horry County political history, reportedly is telling supporters he wants a rematch with Gardner in the 2022 Republican Primary.
Johnny Vaught, the current County Council District 8 council member, and Dennis DiSabato, the current county council member for District 3, have also been broadcasting they will be candidates for the Republican nomination for county chairman in the 2022 primary.
What is interesting about these announcements is Vaught was a major spokesman for Lazarus’ reelection. Whenever Lazarus needed a surrogate to speak for him at a meeting or other campaign event in 2018, Vaught was the chosen spokesman.
If Vaught and Lazarus both contest the chairman primary, it will bring up another interesting dynamic. Both have used Crescent Communications, the political consulting firm of state Reps. Russell Fry and Heather Crawford and county council member Cam Crawford in past campaigns.