Post Tagged with: "Republican Primary"

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12 Endorses Johnny Gardner for County Council Chairman

April 27, 2018 4:16 AM
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12 Endorses Johnny Gardner for County Council Chairman

Coastal Carolina Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12 unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Johnny Gardner for Horry County Council Chairman during its monthly meeting Thursday night.

A donation to Gardner’s campaign by Coastal Carolina FOP Lodge 12 accompanied the endorsement.

Gardner is challenging incumbent Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus in the upcoming June 12, 2018 Republican Primary.

Membership in Lodge 12 includes active and retired law enforcement officers from Horry, Georgetown and Marion Counties.

FOP National President Chuck Canterbury, a retired officer from Horry County Police Department, said, “We are committed to support Johnny Gardner. We plan to work very diligently to help him get elected. We plan to put our shoe leather where our mouth is.”

Canterbury said many Horry County officers feel public safety is not a priority among county officials at this time. Canterbury said HCPD used to be a “go to” police department where trained, experienced officers lined up to join the department. Now it is a department where officers get training and experience under their belt, then move to another department where pay and benefits are considerably better.

“We believe Johnny Gardner is the best candidate “to help secure the county and help provide a safe environment for the citizens,” Canterbury said.

Gardner said he was very humbled to receive the endorsement from FOP Lodge 12.

“I feel very humbled and very fortunate to receive the endorsement from Coastal Carolina Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12,” Gardner said. “First responders are the people who go to work every day to keep the rest of us safe. They deserve the loyalty, respect and appreciation of the county government they serve.”

Read more ›

Handicapping the Race for County Council Chairman Nomination

April 13, 2018 4:01 AM
Handicapping the Race for County Council Chairman Nomination

Since filing for office closed March 30th, my friend and cohost on “Talking Politics”, John Bonsignor, has been trying to make the case that Johnny Gardner is not a serious challenger to incumbent Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus in the June 2018 Republican Primary election.

One thing John and I have proved through the years is that we can disagree (often) without being disagreeable.

I recently wrote about Gardner receiving the endorsement of Horry County Professional Firefighter Local 4345 IAFF. John responded with a diatribe on why Lazarus has nothing to worry about from Gardner in the primary, in John’s opinion.

John and I have lived in Horry County for over 30 years each, so I want to go back through history a little to demonstrate that an incumbent officeholder is not a shoe-in candidate for re-election.

It is often difficult to defeat an incumbent officeholder, but far from an impossible task.

Sheriff Philip Thompson was an underdog when he first ran for the office in 2000 against incumbent Teddy Henry. I remember Chicken Bog socials with Thompson speaking from the back of a truck to voters throughout the county. Accompanying Thompson on these journeys were off-duty officers from the Horry County Police Department showing their support for him. Ultimately, Thompson obtained the support of a majority of county employees and that made the difference in the election.

Melanie Huggins for Horry County Clerk of Courts and Roddy Dickinson for Horry County Treasurer, both in 2004, are other interesting examples. Incumbents were retiring from both offices, but Huggins was opposed by former Clerk of Courts Billie Richardson, coming out of retirement to run again. Dickinson was opposed by Robert Rabon, later to be Horry County Republican chairman. Richardson and Rabon had more money and the support of political insiders, but Huggins and Dickinson won primarily on the strength of a majority of county employees and their friends who supported them.

When Huggins and Dickinson retired, Angie Jones for Treasurer and Renee Elvis for Clerk of Court both won election to their current offices in 2016 on the strength of major support from county employees.

Read more ›

Horry County Chairman Candidate Johnny Gardner Endorsed by Firefighters

April 8, 2018 6:42 PM
Horry County Chairman Candidate Johnny Gardner Endorsed by Firefighters

Johnny Gardner, a candidate for Horry County Council Chairman in the upcoming June 12, 2018 Republican Primary, has received the endorsement of his campaign from  the Horry County Professional Firefighter Local 4345 of the International Association of Firefighters.

Robert Mullaney, President of Local 4345 IAAF told GSD, “We are happily endorsing Mr. Gardner and looking forward to helping Horry County and making fire rescue the place people want to work for again because of outstanding leadership.”

Mullaney has been critical in local media of the pay raise and shifting around of personnel proposed for firefighters and EMS personnel with next fiscal year’s county budget. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2018.

Mullaney called the proposal a “band aid” that does not deal with the underlying problems in the department.

“I am humbled to have received endorsement from Horry County Professional Firefighters Local 4345,” said Gardner.  “Their endorsement is indicative of the change in county government being sought by working citizens. Horry County is a great place to live and work and I want to make sure it stays that way for all of our citizens.”

“With this being National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I want to ensure not only our public safety employees but also all county government employees and the citizens they serve that the lines of communication will always remain open between them and the county chairman, if I am elected,” Gardner continued. “I promise to listen and hear what is being said rather than spend my time talking at them.”

Gardner is a native of Conway, a graduate of Coastal Carolina University and the University of South Carolina School of Law, a U.S. Army veteran having served as a Captain in the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division and the founder of Johnny Gardner Law, P.A.

In the short time since he has filed his candidacy, Gardner said he realizes there is a large disconnect between county employees and county leadership.

Read more ›

Hypocritical Attack Ads Target Reese Boyd

June 12, 2016 6:30 PM
Hypocritical Attack Ads Target Reese Boyd

Reese Boyd is making a strong run for the open SC Senate District 34, enough that the Stephen Goldfinch campaign and its cohorts are resorting to absolute hypocrisy in these final days of the campaign.

Reese Boyd and Stephen Goldfinch are both seeking the Republican nomination for SC Senate District 34 in Tuesday’s Republican Primary voting.

If you are following politics at all in this primary season, you have seen, either in your mailbox or on Facebook, Reese Boyd being called a fiscal liberal.

These attacks are coming in mail and on broadcast media from something called the Citizens Alliance for Fiscal Responsibility, which, from everything I can determine, is run by Tom Swatzel of Swatzel Strategies LLC.

Swatzel Strategies has also received payment from the Stephen Goldfinch campaign for campaign consulting. There is an obvious direct tie between the PAC and the Goldfinch campaign.

If Citizens Alliance for Fiscal Responsibility is acting as an independent PAC, even under the Citizens United decision it must have no direct coordination with the campaign.

Why is Boyd being attacked as a fiscal liberal? Because Boyd has refused to sign Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

I support Boyd in not signing Norquist’s bogus pledge, which has never been anything more than a gimmick for elected legislators to claim they are fiscal conservatives.

But, the hypocrisy currently being practiced by the Goldfinch campaign is much worse than just mislabeling Boyd because he wouldn’t agree to forfeit his decision making power if he is elected to the senate.

Read more ›

Angie Jones Press Conference Answers NO Questions

June 11, 2016 12:24 PM
Angie Jones Press Conference Answers NO Questions

(Above pic Angie Jones, left with Lois Eargle)

A press conference held Friday by Angie Jones, a candidate for Horry County Treasurer in the Tuesday June 14, 2016 Republican primary election, left unanswered questions as to why Jones resigned her position as Deputy Treasurer just five days before the primary.

Jones will begin a position in the Horry County Clerk of Courts office Monday morning. Jones mother, Nancy Jones, is currently Deputy Clerk of Courts.

Jones claimed she resigned from the Treasurer’s office because of a hostile work environment toward her since February.

I believe that reason it total political spin and has nothing to do with why Jones resigned.

According to several sources within Horry County Government, prior to her resignation Jones was the subject of an internal investigation on alleged removal of penalties from a tax notice sent to her brother.

After receiving inquiries earlier in the week from local media about documents supporting the allegations, Treasurer Roddy Dickinson reportedly looked into the allegations.

Jones resigned from her Deputy Treasurer position Thursday and the only comment Dickinson would make was to confirm her resignation.

Jones’ press conference Friday was to supposedly address Jones’ resignation. This was the perfect time for Jones to address the investigation and answer questions about it. She didn’t.

Read more ›

David Cox and Shanda Allen for Horry County School Board

June 6, 2016 10:00 AM
David Cox and Shanda Allen for Horry County School Board

When Horry County voters go to the polls for primary balloting next week, two candidates for Horry County School Board, David Cox and Shanda Allen, stand out in their respective races.

David Cox is currently the school board vice chairman. He has represented Horry County District 9 for two terms. Having recently moved to Market Common, Cox is a candidate for the Horry County School Board District 4 Republican nomination.

Cox has gained valuable experience during his two terms on the school board. He wants to bring that experience to the citizens of District 4.

“Four out of the five new schools we contracted for last fall will be built in District 4,” Cox said. “I believe my experience on the school board can be valuable to the parents and students of District 4 as it goes through significant change in the next 12-18 months.”

Cox is a fiscal conservative who has helped hold the line on tax rates for Horry County residents. During his eight years of service, the school board has reduced tax rates by 18 mils while maintaining the building and maintenance requirements of one of the fastest growing school districts in the state.

In addition, Horry County high school students have continued to increase their SAT and ACT scores, as well as earning tens of millions of dollars of scholarships to colleges.

“I am proud of my eight years of service on the school board and hope the citizens of District Four will vote to allow me to continue to bring my experience to board decisions for the benefit of all the students in Horry County,” Cox said.

Shanda Allen brings considerable experience to her candidacy for the Horry County School Board District 11 Republican nomination.

She was a substitute teacher in Horry County Schools for 10 years, giving her significant knowledge of the classroom needs of both teachers and students.

Read more ›

Issues Divide Horry County Council District 7 Republican Candidates

May 15, 2016 4:35 AM
Issues Divide Horry County Council District 7 Republican Candidates

The contest for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council District 7 is up for a vote Tuesday May 17th.

There are significant differences between the candidates, Mike Roberts and Robert Shelley.

Politicians routinely claim to want to serve the people and/or give back to them.

Roberts is one of the people who believes the people should be included in important decisions. Shelley appears to believe he is above the people.

One of the biggest issues to have erupted in the county over the last few days clearly separates the two candidates. That issue is whether the Horry County Sheriff’s Department and Horry County Police Department should be merged.

Businessman Mike Roberts says yes. Former HCPD officer Robert Shelley says no.

“This is an issue the people should decide,” Roberts said. “It isn’t something that should be left to the decision of a few council members.”

Shelley, a former HCPD officer, said in a media interview that he opposed combining the departments because he likes having a separate police department and sheriff’s department.

But, this isn’t about what Shelley likes. It is about what is best for the citizens of Horry County.

Shelley said the people have already spoken on this issue, referring to a referendum on the question in 1998.

However, there are more than 125,000 new residents in Horry County since 1998 who haven’t spoken on the issue at all.

In addition, the HCPD is a mess with SLED conducting several criminal investigations into the department at the current time.

“Something needs to be done about the police department and that goes way beyond just hiring a new chief,” said Roberts.

Shelley said he believes politics and law enforcement don’t go together. Yet, the HCPD is all about politics.

Read more ›

David Cox in School Board District Four Race

May 10, 2016 7:24 AM
David Cox in School Board District Four Race

David Cox, a veteran of two terms of service on the Horry County School Board, is seeking to represent a new district in the upcoming general election.

Cox was first elected to the school board by the citizens of District Nine in 2008 and was reelected in 2012.

Recently, however, Cox and his family moved to a new home in District Four.

“We took advantage of an opportunity to purchase property at a good price,” said Cox. “I expected to complete my second term and that would be all I would serve.”

After Kay Loftus, the school board member for District Four, passed away several months ago, Cox decided to run for the vacant seat.

“I felt I could bring my experience to the citizens as District Four goes through some significant changes in the next several years,” said Cox. “Four of the five new schools we recently contracted to build will be in District Four.”

Currently serving as Vice Chairman of the school board, Cox listed several of the initiatives he is proud of over his two terms of service:

Lowered the tax millage rate by 18 mils
Continuing improvement SAT and ACT scores among high school students
Implemented Professional Device 4 Learning for students Grade 3 and up
Continuing increase of college scholarship money earned by Horry County high school seniors ($67 million total by 2015 Horry County Schools graduates)

The Professional Device 4 Learning initiative gives each child their own I Pod linked to a central I Pod so the teacher can monitor the work of each individual child.

“I believe it gives every student a level playing field by allowing each student to learn at his or her own pace,” said Cox. “We all know that no two students learn in exactly the same way. This allows each student to learn at their own pace, yet still reach the final learning goals for the year.”

Read more ›

Robert Seth Rabon Withdraws Candidacy

May 2, 2016 2:00 PM
Robert Seth Rabon Withdraws Candidacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aynor – May 2, 2016

Robert Seth Rabon announced today that he is withdrawing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Horry County Auditor.

The decision to withdraw was made because of deteriorating medical conditions of family members.

Rabon said the decision to withdraw from the Auditor’s race was extremely difficult. It came after much consideration, prayerful thought and discussion with family members.

“Some health problems with family members have recently become much more serious,” said Rabon. “As much as I would like to serve the citizens of Horry County, responding to the needs of my family must be my first consideration.”

“I would like to thank all of my supporters, especially those who have been working so diligently for my election,” Rabon said. “I am sorry I have to take this step, but it is the right thing for me to do at this time.”

Rabon was challenging six term incumbent Lois Eargle for the Republican nomination.

Read more ›

Large Crowd Comes Out for Jonathan Hyman Campaign Kickoff

April 8, 2016 5:01 AM
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

(Pictured above Rep. Jeff Johnson (left) and Jonathan Hyman (right).

Over two hundred people attended Jonathan Hyman’s campaign kickoff event at Arnold Johnson’s shed on Hwy 701 South. Hyman is running for Horry County Treasurer.

Johnson said the event drew a larger crowd than others he has hosted and the crowd was at least as large as the one that showed up for Tom Rice’s campaign kickoff for chairman of Horry County Council in 2010.

“I have no doubt Jonathan will do a good job as Treasurer,” said Johnson. “I remember when (former Treasurer) Johnny C. Allen hired him. Johnny always had good things to say about Jonathan.”

This was the kind of event that former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill alluded to when he said all politics are local. Families from the community came out to support Hyman with the adults enjoying good food and fellowship and the children playing ball outside.

The event was not short of political officeholders and candidates either. S.C. Senate Luke Rankin and S.C. Rep. Jeff Johnson were in attendance.

Rankin said the first thing he thinks of when he hears Hyman’s name is humility, competence and temperament.

“Jonathan is well groomed for this position,” said Rankin. “There will be no surprises. He knows how to carry out the duties of Treasurer.”

Johnson said he wished Hyman well in his campaign for election.

“He is a great guy,” Johnson said. “I go to church with him and know what type of person he is and what a wonderful family he has.”

Former Treasurer Johnny C. Allen said, “I hired him 16 years ago because I knew he was a good, smart kid. I am happy he asked me to endorse him, which I am pleased to do. Jonathan will be an asset to Horry County as its next Treasurer.”

Current Treasurer Roddy Dickinson said it was time for him to retire and pass on the office.

“I have no regrets and I’m looking forward to be able to do other things in life,” said Dickinson. “I am happy to endorse Jonathan for Treasurer. Jonathan works well with people and will make a great Treasurer. He has respect and understanding for others and that is very important in dealing with the public.”

Read more ›