With filing completed and the first campaign disclosure reports in, the choices in many of the June 14th Republican Primaries for local offices will be between candidates supported by the Myrtle Beach cabal versus candidates supported by the people.
In case you are confused about the makeup of the cabal, it is the development lobby that wants no restrictions and no impact fees on development in the county and the tourism lobby that continues to push for an ever more expensive proposed I-73 at the expense of local roads and other infrastructure. In other words, the group that wants to pad their pocketbooks at the expense of the taxpayers.
And because the cabal expects to pad their pocketbooks if their candidates win, it is showering the campaign accounts of its chosen candidates with dollars.
The main benefactors of cabal largesse so far are Mark Lazarus in the Horry County Chairman race, Jenna Dukes in Horry County Council District 1 and Carla Schuessler in the new House District 61. Lazarus and Schuessler are both former chairman of the Myrtle Beach Chamber board.
Lazarus has collected $138,000 in donations, Dukes received $96,000 and Schuessler received $42,000.
And one must question the due diligence the cabal uses in picking candidates to back because the word around the area is both Dukes and Schuessler have stronger ties to Democrats than Republicans.
Bill Howard, incumbent in Horry County Council District 2, may also be considered a cabal preferred candidate although he hasn’t begun collecting campaign donations yet. However, Howard donated $1,000 to Lazarus and is considered a safe vote on council for cabal interests.
Sifting through the campaign reports, Dukes received nine donations of $1,000 each from contractor Benji Hardee. Hardee reportedly convinced Dukes to run against incumbent Harold Worley because of personal animus toward Worley and his votes on county council. The nine donations are run through companies, llc’s and investment entities tied to Hardee.
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