The engagement of citizen activists in the political system of Horry County was the biggest story of 2019. This year it will prove to be even bigger with county and state elections on the calendar.
Three of those council members, DiSabato, Loftus and Crawford have been charter members of what I have termed the ‘Deep Six’ on county council who generally do the bidding of the oligarchs.
Groups such as Empowering Horry County, Horry County Rising, Make Myrtle Beaches Free, Clean and Safe, and Highway 90 Corridor Concerns, to name a few, have made effective use of social media to band together groups of citizens so their message becomes part of the political discussion.
That message is simple, these citizen activists want a government that provides the necessary goods and services expected of it and does not overreach with wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on projects that only benefit the few.
They want elected officials who will provide the public safety services needed to keep the communities safe and who will maintain and upgrade, when necessary, existing infrastructure to benefit the entire community, especially in the areas of roads and storm water management. They want controlled development so that new sub-divisions do not negatively impact the homes and lives of those who already live here.
Horry County has had an oligarchical form of government where a small number of influential business owners and developers have controlled politicians and political decisions for decades. These new groups of citizen activists want to expand the existing political landscape into one that more closely resembles a representative democracy where the voices of the many, not just the few, are heard.
Five Horry County Council members, Dennis DiSabato, Gary Loftus, Cam Crawford, Paul Prince and Danny Hardee will be up for reelection this year as will all the state representatives and senators. This year many of them used to having no opposition will face challengers in the primaries (the only elections that really count in this one party state).