Thoughts on Horry County Council Chairman Race


By Paul Gable

The special election primary for the vacant Horry County Council chairman seat is but five and one-half weeks away (March 12th) and I have been asked several times when I will write something about it.

So far, I have very little thought on the race at all, except for an overall feeling of ‘déjà vu all over again’ as Yogi Berra so eloquently puts it.

Of course, there are those associated with the local economic development corporation and our new Congressman Tommy Rice’s entourage who will assert that I have no coherent thoughts at all.  I contend the same things about them, so it’s a safe conclusion the twain will never meet in that couplet.

We have five candidates, former council member Mark Lazarus, former council chairman Liz Gilland, current council member Al Allen, perpetual candidate Fonzie Lewis and the only newcomer to elective politics Debbie Harwell.

There are those who would contend that Harwell is not a really newcomer to local politics, having been a commentator on the local political scene on WRNN’s morning show for a number of years and a lobbyist for several large, local projects, but I do like her slogan “She’s The New Guy”.

A true “New Guy” is what I want to see on county council.

I have accused the current council of being a flock of sheep and wasteful of taxpayer dollars on issues such as flow control and the SWA, Project Blue and economic development, and an airport terminal expansion for a declining passenger base that will not support it. Our current and/or former council members, in the running, have supported some or all of these issues.

In the end, however, it’s not about what I want. I have covered county council long enough to have become jaded and cynical about its antics. It’s about who will capture the imagination of the small percentage of voters who will turn out for the special election and, hopefully, act on their campaign rhetoric if elected.


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