Tag: SC 7th Congressional District

Last Minute Swamp Tricks in 7th Congressional District Race

Three months ago, 7th Congressional District candidate Mark McBride claimed that Myrtle Beach SC publisher David Hucks offered a bribe to McBride on behalf of candidate Ken Richardson.
According to McBride’s subsequent Facebook rant, McBride was asked to drop out of the 7th Congressional District race and throw his support to Richardson for the promise of some type of job.
Grand Strand Daily has learned that SLED will issue a press release shortly, which will state after an investigation McBride’s claims were found to be totally without merit.
The fact that there was no basis for McBride’s rant is not surprising. He was never going to be a factor in this race whether he stayed in or got out. Tomorrow’s voting will demonstrate that statement.
But, there is quite possibly a darker side to this entire affair. Richardson was an early candidate in the race building momentum against incumbent Tom Rice.
Then, Gov. Henry McMaster and SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick worked hard to get an endorsement candidate Russell Fry by Donald Trump.
According to information received by Grand Strand Daily, SLED completed its investigation of the false claim within several weeks and the report of the investigation lay untouched in the office of Attorney General Alan Wilson for at least eight weeks.
Now, in the late afternoon of the day before polls open and after the two-week period for early voting has ended, the announcement will be made that there is no wrongdoing on Richardson’s part.

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Local Veterans Dump Fry to Support Richardson

A group of local disabled veterans who initially supported Russell Fry for the 7th Congressional District Republican nomination because of the Trump endorsement, have decided to switch candidates and now say they will vote for Ken Richardson.
Several of these veterans were included in the veterans’ coalition helping the Fry campaign.
The reason for the switch, simply put, is Fry wouldn’t listen to concerns of the veterans. Richardson did listen.
“The veterans coalition was a way for Fry to get vets together to give him talking points,” said former coalition member Keith Brooks. “Russell never gave us more than a minute or two to hear our story. You can’t tell Russell anything,”
“Russell is trying to be just another career politician,” said Brooks. “The last thing we need is another self-absorbed ladder climber.”
The story the veterans wanted to tell was the personal difficulties they have experienced in trying to obtain medical care at the Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic at Market Common.

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Why Won’t Rice and Fry Agree to a Second Candidate Debate?

Word has reached GSD of an attempt by the Myrtle Beach Republican Women’s Club to organize a debate among all seven candidates for the SC 7th Congressional District Republican nomination.
According to information received by GSD from those trying to arrange the event, neither Tom Rice nor Russell Fry want any part of another debate (one was held in Florence two weeks ago). Rice, reportedly, claimed a scheduling conflict with the proposed May 27th date for the event, but declined to specify what that conflict was.
Fry, reportedly, said he would debate, but only if Rice was included.
It makes one wonder if the campaigns of Rice and Fry are colluding behind the scenes to ensure a second debate does not take place. One claims a scheduling conflict while the other sets a condition he will not show up without the other.
Former President Donald Trump, of course, wants to see incumbent Rep. Tom Rice defeated for the 7th Congressional District Republican nomination because of Rice’s January 13, 2021, vote to impeach the former president.
Trump endorsed state representative Russell Fry, in the SC 7th Congressional District race, apparently without vetting any of the other candidates in the race, merely on the recommendations of Gov. Henry McMaster and SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick.
However, in picking Fry, Trump endorsed a politician just as mired in “The Swamp” of Horry County politics as Rice on the recommendation of two other “swamp” politicians, McMaster and McKissick.

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Another Begging Plea from Fry Campaign

Yesterday the Russell Fry campaign sent out another urgent plea for money. This time it was the “Lawn Sign Resupply Fund” that needs a boost, according to a Fry email.
Honestly, this constant begging for money from a candidate for Congress is getting ridiculous.
“I’m asking for you to pitch in a few dollars to help us replenish our supply of lawn signs before we run out so we can reach the voters we need to achieve victory over Tom Rice.”
The above is a direct quote from Fry’s latest begging email request. The utter contempt that the Fry has for any supporters he may have is disgusting.
And Fry is forgetting, before he beats Rice he has to beat Ken Richardson who is second in money raising and first in speaking events with voters. Fry has less money, less of an organized campaign and less of a ground game than either Richardson or Rice. Is he just trying to keep the truth from his voters while he begs for more money?
If Fry somehow manages to win the election, a result that stands extremely little chance of becoming reality, will he send out an email begging for gas money to get to Washington? And will there be monthly emails begging for rent money to live in the D. C. area?
Based on the history of his campaign to date, I would expect such emails.
Fry is not interested in the voters who he is asking to give him money and to vote for him. Fry is only interested in himself.
One of the constant comments about the few campaign appearances Fry has made throughout the district is “he does not really interact with the people.”
That’s because Fry is not interested in the voters, other than to beg for money from them.

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Fry and Rice Preach Conservativism to Voters but Don’t Practice It

Russell Fry has coined the phrase ‘common sense conservative’ as his campaign moniker, but his performance does not seem to match the utterance.
Twenty years ago, politicians could get away with that type of nonsense, calling themselves conservative while voting very differently, because their voting records were not readily accessible to the general public.
In his most recent campaign video, Fry said, “It’s important to keep taxes low…Keeping government small and lean and keeping your taxes low benefits the economy.”
No conservative would argue with those statements. However, saying it and practicing it are two very different things and the devil is in the details for Fry.
The American Conservative Union rates Fry’s overall conservative voting record in the South Carolina House of Representatives on all issues from 2015 -2020 at 57.41%.
More importantly, Fry’s voting record on “Taxes, Budget and Spending” is listed among his weakest issues (those with the lowest conservative voting record), according to the American Conservative Union.
Just a few years ago, Fry voted in favor of the largest gasoline tax increase in state history and followed that vote up with voting to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of the gasoline tax increase legislation. The gasoline tax is among those taxes that hit average working families the hardest.
Fry has been a strong supporter of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce advocacy of having local governments in Horry County help fund construction of the Interstate 73 project.

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Ken Richardson is the Only Candidate Who Can Beat Rice

Seven weeks remain until the Republican Primary to nominate a candidate for the SC 7th Congressional District.
At this point, the race basically breaks down to a contest between incumbent Tom Rice, Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson and state Rep. Russell Fry, the three top fundraisers in that order.
Rice has been targeted for defeat by former President Donald Trump because of Rice’s January 13, 2021 vote to impeach Trump over his involvement in the January 6, 2021 events at the U. S. Capitol. Rice recently was endorsed by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, although how that helps in a South Carolina election is beyond my comprehension.
Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson is the only candidate in the race routinely speaking to groups of voters multiple times each week. Richardson is seeking the only endorsement that counts, that of the 7th District voters on June 14th.
Richardson has spent the last 14 months, since he announced for the race, meeting voters in a nearly continuous series of meetings throughout the 7th District.
Trump, in another of his recent virtually unexplainable endorsements, chose to back Fry at the behest of Gov. Henry McMaster and SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick. Fry is basically an unknown outside of his small S. C. House district. But, Fry is a solid member of the RINO Republican establishment in the state. The Trump endorsement has failed to raise Fry in the polls or give any type of significant help in fundraising.
More to the point, Fry has been called Rice 2.0 by many Republican voters in the 7th District. Both are uninspiring speakers who rely on canned talking points, which is why voters have seen more television ads from the two rather than much actual face to face time. Both are tied to the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and the insistence on using local tax dollars to help fund the Interstate 73 project because they can’t get any from the federal or state governments.
Yet, with all the federal and state money thrown around during the Covid epidemic, neither Rice nor Fry was able to get more than a few million for the over $2 billion I-73 project.

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Dr. Oz, Russell Fry – Where are Trump’s MAGA Candidates?

Former President Donald Trump’s weekend endorsement of Mehmet Cengiz Oz (Dr. Oz) for the U. S. Senate from Pennsylvania makes one wonder how Trump has drifted so far from his Make America Great Again base.
Most of Trump’s MAGA supporters in the S C 7th Congressional District have been pondering that question for more than a month since Trump endorsed Russell Fry, a bona fide member in good standing of the Horry County ‘Swamp’.
How does a man (Oz) who was born in the United States of Turkish immigrant parents, who still holds dual citizenship (U.S. and Turkey) and who served in the Turkish Army (but not the U.S. Army) in order to maintain his Turkish citizenship get an America First endorsement? Oz has said he will renounce his Turkish citizenship if he’s elected to the Senate, but, apparently not if he loses.
(As a veteran of ten years of active duty service in the U. S. Navy, I find it offensive that a candidate for U. S. Senate would even consider keeping dual citizenship, or, put another way – split allegiance between two countries.)
How does any of this fit into Trump’s ‘America First’ mold?
And the above doesn’t consider Oz’s support of the transgender movement, including voicing support for biological males who are now competing in women’s sports, a No-No for MAGA conservatives.

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Russell Fry’s ‘Goofy’ Campaign for Congress

Filing closed Wednesday for this year’s June 14th Republican primaries. Normally the close of filing brings the beginning of ‘silly season’ in politics.
However, this year, the Russell Fry campaign to replace Tom Rice as the SC 7th Congressional District Congressman started ‘silly season’ early.
Fry waited until August 2021 to announce he was running for Congress until he was virtually certain that establishment pols like Henry McMaster and Drew McKissick could get his campaign endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Fry also waited eight months to criticize Rice’s January 13, 2021 vote to impeach Trump. Now he can’t stop talking about Rice as a “Trump impeacher.” Fry is a little slow on the uptake.
Fry has used the term ‘committed conservative’ to describe his political voting stance. However, the American Conservative Union gives Fry a 58% overall voting record for his first five years in the SC House. Sounds more like a RINO voting record to me.
After the Trump endorsement last month, the Fry campaign ran its first political ad, a ridiculous cartoon style creation featuring paid actors to portray such characters as the Joker and the Devil.
Then, voters in the 7th Congressional District were treated to a Fry video announcing, “Damn, it sure is great to be a Gangster.”
Since filing for candidacy opened in the middle of March 2022, the Fry campaign has treated voters to two email messages. (see below)

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Russell Fry and His Cast of Cartoon Characters

You have to give Russell Fry credit, he and his campaign have come up with the most absolutely ridiculous political ad ever created.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is available for viewing on the Fry for Congress Facebook page.
Using a number of cartoon villains, the ad tries to paint a Tom Rice character as one of them, but fails in that message when they tell the Rice character to leave their Villains Anonymous meeting. The villains are obviously looking for a Rice protégé to support.
The use of a Lucifer character as one of the villains in the cartoon has drawn considerable criticism from the Christian conservatives in the district.
Fry has been notable for sending out numerous emails begging for campaign contributions while commissioning this ad, which was obviously filmed on a sound stage with professional actors and was not cheap.
Now, if the Fry campaign hires a professional script writer to come up with some sensible message to voters, maybe his next ads for television will at least make some kind of sense.
In the ad, Rice is portrayed as being against term limits because of his five terms in Congress. Now this is an interesting one. The normal proposed term limit amount for House members is three terms or six years. Fry is currently serving in his seventh year in the SC House, so he obviously does not believe in term limits for his current seat.
Fry says he supports term limits legislation. This is an old ploy used by many politicians. They will profess all day to be for term limits but never introduce or vote for a bill that would actually mandate term limits.

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Fake Fry, Fake Campaign

Last week the Russell Fry campaign sent out an email saying the campaign was “running red hot” but then went on to beg for money.
Nearly all political campaigns shade the truth and spin their message, but this email is a perfect example of just how much BS is coming from the Fry campaign.
If the Fry campaign actually gained momentum from the endorsement of Fry by Donald Trump, money would be pouring in. Obviously, it’s not.
Last week also saw a rumor begin making the rounds in Horry County that Ken Richardson was going to drop out of the race and endorse Fry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Richardson is not dropping out and he wouldn’t endorse Fry under any circumstances for any political office, let alone Congress.
And, an article appeared, authored by Audrey Hudson, which attempted to paint Fry as the only candidate in the race that has the leadership skills and conservative record to defeat Tom Rice in the upcoming June 2022 Republican Primary.
Hudson used examples such as Fry’s votes for the “heartbeat” bill and the “2nd Amendment” bill as proof of Fry’s conservative and constitutional credentials.
Of course, she didn’t mention Fry’s vote for the largest gas tax increase in state history, his attempt to have the state legislature dictate to Horry County that it must spend its hospitality tax revenue on Interstate 73 and his vote to allow extension of the Myrtle Beach Tourism Development Fee, which is nothing more than a giveaway of more than $30 million taxpayer dollars per year to the Myrtle Beach Chamber.
Hudson went on to smear Richardson with a completely inaccurate record of Richardson’s handling of restrictions and enforcements of mandates in Horry County Schools due to Covid. But why let facts get in the way of your spin in a story?

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