Tag: Horry County Republican Party

Old Guard Out at HCGOP

A new day dawned Saturday for the Horry County Republican Party when the ‘Old Guard’, ‘establishment’ or whatever you want to call it was swept out of power at the party’s biennial convention.
The three top offices in the HCGOP were won by relative newcomers to the local party – Roger Slagle-Chairman, Jeremy Halpin-Vice Chairman and Tracy Beanz Diaz-State Executive Committee member (pictured above).
The feeling that change was needed in the local party has been building for a while, but accelerated over the last month. Two years ago, there were approximately 206 voting delegates at the convention. This year that number increased to approximately 370.
The increased surge in participation can be at least partially linked to two events this week at which approximately 400 people attended each time. Both events were hosted by local Republican Patriot activist Chad Caton. Caton has battled with members of the ‘Old Guard’ for the past two years about how the local party was being run.
Wednesday night saw an event in Aynor to introduce Tracy Beanz Diaz to delegates and the general public. The highlight of the night for many of the attendees was a speech given by former President Donald Trump’s first National Security Adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, in support of his friend Diaz. Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones also spoke in support of Diaz’ candidacy and additionally worked hard at helping to organize the event.
Friday night saw an event in Myrtle Beach where Slagle, Halpin and Diaz all spoke to the crowd about their vision for a new Republican Party in Horry County. The main speaker, however, was Lin Wood, attorney for President Trump and a candidate for the South Carolina Republican Party Chairman post at next month’s state party convention. Wood also mingled with the crowd at the Aynor event talking and taking photos with the attendees.
Change is building in the state. Many people who have become active Republicans in the last five years are disgusted with the ‘good ole boy’ system that has run Republican Party politics in the state since the party became a majority among South Carolina voters.
State party Chairman Drew McKissick is running for reelection to his post. However, if Horry County and other recent county conventions are any indicator, Lin Wood could well oust McKissick from office.
(Click headline for more)

Internal Rift Hangs Over Horry County Republican Party Convention

The Horry County Republican Party will hold its biennial convention Saturday with an internal rift hanging over the county party.
The rift comes from a question of do county party leaders have to obey the rules (bylaws) of the organization they lead? If so, why have a small group of party insiders ignored these rules at least over the past four years and gotten away with it?
Two years ago, the election for party chair finished in a dead heat after some initial confusion over missing ballots and two counts. Despite rules stating county chairmen are elected by a “simple majority” a compromise, encouraged by state party officials Drew McKissick and Hope Walker, was reached to have co-chairmen in Horry County.
Party officials have been questioned about supporting one candidate over another in a contested Republican primary even though the bylaws specifically prohibit such actions.
Party member Karon Mitchell specifically called for the dismissal of county Vice Chair Mary Rebolini due to Rebolini’s support of Sen. Luke Rankin over Republican challenger John Gallman in last year’s Republican primary runoff.
“On June 19, 2020, Ms. Rebolini endorsed Lune Rankin and defamed John Gallman at a press conference organized by the Rankin campaign,” Mitchell stated in a letter to the HCGOP. Nevertheless, Ms. Rebolini remains in her party position.
The county party’s bylaws read in part, “Elected and appointed officials of the Horry County Republican party shall not endorse, work for, assist, or allow their name to be used in support of a Republican candidate who has opposition from another Republican candidate during a Primary or Run-off election …Failure to comply with these requirements shall constitute prima facie evidence for their dismissal as an elected or appointed official of the Horry County Republican Party”.
Rebolini should have been dismissed immediately from her vice-chair position after appearance at the campaign event, but nothing happened.
Co-chair Dreama Perdue has also come under fire for endorsing one Republican over another to the point of being a member of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Leadership Team although Graham was opposed by several other Republicans in the primary.
Over the past four years, party finances have been conducted with little regard for bylaws that state all checks must have two signatures and expenses of over $1,000 must be approved by the party ways and means committee.

Vice Chairman Refuses to Endorse Current Chairperson of Horry County Republican Party

 Murrells Inlet, Wednesday April 10, 2019 – Steve Hoffman has announced his intention to endorse Ed Carey for the new Chairman of the Horry County Republican Party.  The Party will have its biennial convention this coming Saturday at the Ten Oaks Middle School in Carolina Forest where new party officers will be elected.

Steve has stressed the need for a positive campaign that will unite all factions of the Republican Party within Horry County and even has kind words for the previous Chair and Vice Chair; “Dreama and Gerri were indeed the “Dream Team”.  I want to personally thank Dreama for stepping up to the plate as Chairman after Robert Rabon could not seek reelection two years due to health reasons.  Dreama had experience in the party as the treasurer under the Rabon administration and she had years of experience with the National Federation of Republican Women.  And her running mate, Gerri McDaniel is probably one of the best political organizers and campaigners in Horry County, as verified by her outstanding performance leading the Trump for President Campaign in Horry County.”

However, Steve adds; “it soon became readily apparent that there was trouble in River City.  Attendance at both membership and executive committee meetings began to decrease.  The five standing committees directed by the HCGOP By-laws remained unfilled.  After I became Vice Chair of the Party my goal was to at least get the By-Laws Committee and the Planning & Operations Committee formed, which I established in short order.  Also, strategic planning, budgeting, and public relations activities were overlooked and basically non-existent during these past two years.”

Steve emphasizes that;  “During normal times, these issues would not be too alarming since as everyone seems to believe; “We are a Red State, a Red County…and we will always elect Republicans”.

Ladies and gentlemen…the times they are a changing…

All you have to do is look at our neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina where the Democrat Party has made significant inroads.  Even the once solid Red state of Texas recently saw an upsurge in the number of Democrats elected to their statehouse.  And then may I remind you that we lost an almost certain Republican Congressional seat down in Charleston just last year.

Election Change Is In the Air

(Ed. Note – The picture with this story is of a Facebook Post by Heather Ammons Crawford, which started the entire “Union Thugs” commentary in the closing days of the Lazarus campaign.)

Defeating an incumbent politician used to be a most difficult undertaking in South Carolina politics. Now it’s almost becoming the norm in Horry County.

Two out of three incumbents on the ballot lost in Myrtle Beach last fall. An incumbent fell to a write-in candidate in Surfside Beach earlier this year.

The latest round of primaries on June 12th saw a state legislator and a long-time school board member go down to opposition. Bill Howard was able to just hold off challenger Dean Pappas in the only contested Republican primary that went to an incumbent. The irony of that race is that newly elected Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune came out late for Pappas and her endorsement may have hurt Pappas in the final days because Bethune has quickly sided with what is considered the establishment in Myrtle Beach even though she was a candidate for “change” in the fall.

Challenger William Bailey took out incumbent Greg Duckworth in the Republican primary for S.C. House District 104. Challenger Helen Smith defeated incumbent Pam Timms in the Horry County School Board District 6 Republican primary. Smith is a former school board chairman in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, but probably half of today’s registered voters weren’t living in the county when she last left office so she qualifies as a change candidate.

Recount Confirms Gardner Win, Lazarus Concedes

Five days after winning the election for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council Chairman, Johnny Gardner was “recertified” as the winner over incumbent Mark Lazarus by the Horry County Election Commission.

After the S.C. Election Commission approved an audit of the final tally of the votes, the certified result of the election was announced at 11:41 a.m. Saturday June 16, 2018, as Gardner 12,426, Lazarus 12,313, a margin of 113 votes.

The count also included the race for House District 104 where William Bailey received 2,312 votes to 2,295 votes for incumbent House member Greg Duckworth.

Shortly after a mandatory recount confirmed both results, Lazarus called Gardner to concede the election. Gardner said Lazarus was very professional and gracious with his words when he conceded.

Gardner was initially certified as the winner two days ago with an automatic recount scheduled for the next day. When people returned for the recount, they were told that another 209 votes had been found in machines from the Ocean Forest 2 precinct.

This announcement began one and one-half days of confusion, bordering at times on chaos, before the local election commission received approval of an audit of the votes from the state election commission.

During the interval, James Wiles, who told commissioners he was “representing the Lazarus campaign”, gave the members a sheet of paper which he called a “Freedom of Information request” and said the campaign objected to recertification of the results.

“I am prepared to start discovery to see if there should be a protest,” Wiles added.

According to all the information I could find on Wiles, he was suspended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2005 and is not a member of the South Carolina Bar Association. He can certainly act as a private citizen representing himself before the election commission, but what status he had “representing the Lazarus campaign” and “prepared to start discovery” is open to question.

Steve Hoffman – For Vice Chairman, Horry County Republican Party

Many of you may have seen me, Steve Hoffman, at MB tea party and Carolina patriot meetings, at rallies here in Myrtle Beach and in Columbia, out campaigning for a variety of Republican candidates, and speaking before the Horry County Council and the Coastal Carolina College Republicans.

I am a conservative / libertarian Republican (what Charles C. W. Cooke from the National Review calls a conservatarian). If you are confused, just think of U.S. congressional members, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Mark Meadows and our own Mark Sanford. Or the growing number of liberty movement S.C. Legislators like Sens; Tom Davis, Wes Climer, Tom Corbin, Shane Martin, Kevin Bryant, and Reps;Jonathan Hill, Steve Long; Eric Bedinfield, Joshua Putnam, Bill Chumley, Josiah Magnuson.

We are all principled Republicans. Principled, in that we strongly believe that the future of this country depends on a Republican Party committed to the values of LIMITED GOVERNMENT, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS (as outlined in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution), and FREE MARKET ECONOMICS (as opposed to Crony Capitalism and Corporate Welfare). Principled Republicans who are not afraid to fight the Democrat’s progressive agenda.

As a “Republican”, I pledge to help grow our local party. The continued downward slide in the number of Republican organized precincts in Horry County concerns me. After the 2013 re-org we had 80 organized precincts. After the 2015 re-org we dropped to 60 and after this last one we sank even further to 50.

Politician Dick Withington Arrested

By Paul Gable

Horry County politician and retired businessman Dick Withington was arrested today by the Horry County Police Department.

Withington is currently being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Facility.

According to multiple sources, Withington was arrested after soliciting a bribe from Horry County Council member Gary Loftus.

According to those sources, after announcing he would be a candidate challenging incumbent Loftus in the upcoming June Republican Primary, Withington sent an email to Loftus offering to drop out of the race if Loftus would pay him an, as yet, undisclosed amount of money.

According to sources, Loftus reported the incident to Horry County police. A meeting was set up at which Loftus would offer to pay Withington a down payment with bills marked by HCPD. After the exchange took place, Withington was arrested with the marked bills in his possession.

As has become his pattern of running for more than one office in the same election cycle, Withington also was a candidate for the SC Senate District 34 seat. Several unconfirmed reports state Withington also sent an email to SC Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, a candidate for Senate District 34, with the same offer.

This year has been uniquely unusual in politics with the Republican Party establishment going out of its way to undermine frontrunning GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, so I guess anything is possible.

But, Withington’s actions, especially considering his abysmal polling record to date in seeking numerous political offices in the area, makes one shake one’s head.

In Memory of Bill Darby

Bill Darby was a man who lived a full life according to his own rules.

The song “I Did It My Way” is certainly a complete description of his approach to life.

For nearly 60 years, Darby was the publisher of Coast and Alternatives magazines in Horry County. He brought the concept of tourist oriented magazines to the largest tourist destination in South Carolina.

He was a political maverick, one of three men who, together, can claim to have founded the Horry County Republican Party. As Bill liked to say he was a Republican when the Horry County Republican Party could hold meetings in a telephone booth.

Florence Blinks, More Candidates Eliminated

Florence Blinks, More Candidates Eliminated

New developments in the election filing controversy that won’t go away saw more candidates eliminated from Tuesday’s upcoming primary ballots and a potential for more candidate challenges after the voting.

The Florence Republican Party requested a clarification from the S.C. Supreme Court yesterday on whether candidates who were incumbents in one office, but running for a different office in this election cycle, were to be treated as new candidates with respect to filing a Statement of Economic Interests at the same time and with the same person that they filed their Statement of Intention of Candidacy.

The Supreme Court refused to provide a clarification. Some took this to mean that the Court felt it had already answered the question with its May 2, 2012 and June 5, 2012 rulings.

This led an already gun shy Florence party to make the decision that such candidates were to be treated as new candidates and were subject to state code Section 8-13-1356(B).

Republican Party’s Day in Court

The Republican Party will have the opportunity Monday to convince the justices of the S.C. Supreme Court that it did follow state law and the May 2, 2012 ruling of the court in certifying candidates for the June 12, 2012 primary ballot.

The task will not be easy for party officials because documents released in the past month point to the fact that the party did not follow the law. In fact, charges of favoritism and cherry picking candidates for certification have been levied by unsuccessful candidates.

Two cases will be heard Monday. The first has the Florence County Democratic Party suing the Florence County Republican Party for certifying candidates who did not file in accordance with the law. The second has House District 105 candidate Bert von Hermann suing to have candidate Blake Hewitt removed from the ballot for not filing properly. Von Hermann is already off the ballot for the same reason.