As of noon Wednesday, filing is closed for 2022 political candidates.
That means the fields are set for all of the races you’ll vote on during the June 14 primary elections.
Below is your guide to the candidates who are running for U.S. House of Representatives, the State House, Horry County Council and more. Races with one or more candidates are listed first, and races where incumbents are running unopposed are listed after.
U.S. House — South Carolina 7th Congressional District
Multiple candidates are running in Horry County’s most contentious and high-profile race. South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District stretches from Georgetown County to the state line, and then west to include Chesterfield County.
Horry County is the most-populous county in the district, and where the majority of Republican votes will come from. Congress pays members $174,000 per year.
Incumbent Rep. Tom Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, is defending his seat and running for a sixth term in office. Former President Donald Trump put a target on Rice’s back after the congressman voted to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
That vote drew the condemnation of Republicans around Horry County and led to a censure from the South Carolina Republican Party. A crowded field of challengers have lined up to oust Rice.
Last month, Trump entered the fray and endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry against Rice, and then shared a stage with Fry and other state Republicans at a rally in Florence earlier this month.
As he’s run for re-election, Rice has framed himself as a reliable conservative vote — he frequently notes that he voted for Trump’s priorities 94% of the time — and as someone who will help residents around the region rather than pledge “allegiance to one very conflict-oriented divisive man.”
SC Rep. Russell Fry, R-Surfside Beach, has emerged as one of Rice’s top challengers, in part because he won Trump’s backing.
Fry rose rapidly through the ranks of South Carolina GOP politics and has served in the state House since late 2015 when he won a special election. He’s helped the legislature’s Republican majority whip support for key bills, including some in response to the opioid epidemic, a “heartbeat” law that restricts abortion access and an open-carry firearm law.
Fry won Trump’s endorsement last month shortly after calling the 2020 election “rigged” and saying Joe Biden is “not my president.” Fry then shared a stage with Trump in March in Florence, S.C.
Fry has pitched himself as a conservative fighter in Trump’s mold. Conservatives in Horry County are split on his candidacy, though, with some believing he’s too politically similar to Rice.
School Board Chairman Ken Richardson, a Republican, has also emerged as a substantial challenge to Rice in the primary race.
Richardson, a former car salesman and longtime chairman of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College board, is currently serving a term as the head of Horry County Schools. He’s fashioned himself in Trump’s mold, an independent businessman who fights aggressively for conservative values.
Richardson has made allegiance to Trump and being against the teaching of Critical Race Theory and abolishing the federal Department of Education key planks of his campaign.
Dr. Garrett Barton, a Republican, has also thrown his hat into the crowded congressional race.
Barton, a family doctor based in Cheraw, has styled him as a commonsense conservative who wants to expand access to healthcare and revitalize small downtowns across the Pee Dee. He tends to focus on healthcare and big tech issues, and has pitched himself as pro-Trump.
Former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride, a Republican, is also running for Congress. McBride, since losing a 2005 re-election, has run for a number of public offices including U.S. Senate and a seat in the state legislature.
McBride has styled himself as Trump-before-Trump, saying that he called for Trump’s immigration policies, English as America’s official language and other directives when he was mayor. He’s said at forums that Trump “ran on my platform.”
McBride, though, hasn’t yet raised significant funds as Rice and other challengers have. Earlier this month, he accused a local blogger of working on behalf of Richardson’s campaign and offering a bribe to him to drop out. The blogger, David Hucks, and Richardson’s campaign have denied the allegations.
Barbara Arthur, a Republican, insurance agent and Christian speaker is also running for Congress.
From Hartsville, Arthur has made fighting socialism and communism the highlights of her campaign. She said she views Democrats as bringing communism to the United States — despite decades of federal, bipartisan opposition to communism and nations with communist leaders — and has pledged to fight them.
Spencer Morris, a Republican and a pharmacist, has also filed to run for Congress.
Larry Guy Hammond and Keenan Dunham, both Libertarians, are also running.
Daryl Scott, a Democrat, has also filed to challenge the Republican in November. No other Democrats have filed to run. Melissa Watson, a Democrat who challenged Rice in 2020, has said she’s not running this year.
State House of Representatives, District 58
Incumbent Rep. Jeff Johnson, a lawyer, is running for re-election against Democrat John Ward in State House District 58.
State House members earn $10,400 annually.
Johnson’s district encompasses Aynor and the surrounding area. He’s served in the state House since 2015. Johnson recently helped bring a new state Department of Natural Resources office to the Aynor area.
Ward is a former correctional officer with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office and has worked as an erosion control specialist at Seed Slingers. He’s challenged Ward for his seat in the past.
State House of Representatives, District 61
The newly created state House district has several Republicans vying for the seat.
Republican Carla Schuessler, former chair of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, is running as a Republican. She led the Horry County Habitat for Humanity from 2014 to 2020.
Republican John Cassidy, a businessman, graduated from Coastal Carolina University and has owned DuplicatesINK for 30 years. He’s also running as a Republican.
Democrat Ashlyn Preaux, the head of Grand Strand Action Together and a former campaign staffer for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has also filed to run.
State House of Representatives, District 68
Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, a Republican, is running unopposed. She’s known for focusing on flooding-related issues in the state House. She’s also worked on HOA oversight legislation in the past. Her husband, Cam Crawford, serves on Horry County Council.
Democrat Ernest Carson, a Realtor, has also filed to run.
State House of Representatives, District 106
With Fry running for Congress, his Surfside Beach seat in the state House is open. In his absence, four Republicans and one Democrat have lined up to fill the seat.
Horry County school board member Howard Barnard, a Republican, was one of the first to announce a run for the seat in January. Barnard previously served two terms on Horry County Council and is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and fighter pilot.
Bruce Bailey, a Republican, has also filed to run for the seat. He is not the Tidelands Health CEO, also named Bruce Bailey.
Thomas “Val” Guest, a Republican, is also vying for the seat. Guest has been a practicing attorney since 1990 and is a partner at the Ouverson, Guest & Carter law firm in Murrells Inlet. He’s a past president of the Horry County Bar Association.
Brian Sweeney, a GOP precinct leader in the Burgess area, is also running. His platform includes opposition to Interstate 73 and mask mandates.
Ryan Thompson, a Democrat, is involved with the Horry County Democratic Party and has served as political director for the College Democrats in South Carolina. He’ll graduate from college in May. His campaign is focused on aiding teachers and improving local infrastructure.
County Council Chair
Voters may have déjà vu from 2018 in this year’s primary race for Horry County Council Chair. All candidates are running as Republicans. The chair earns $25,750 annually.
Incumbent Johnny Gardner, a defense attorney, has said he’ll seek re-election. Gardner ousted former council Chairman Mark Lazarus by a narrow margin in 2018. His victory was seen as a win for residents who live to the west of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Gardner’s term started with controversy as he and a political associate became the subjects of a SLED investigation, though the investigation ultimately found no wrongdoing. Gardner then led an effort to oust County Administrator Chris Eldridge. Eldridge ultimately resigned. Later, Gardner paid a fine to state election officials over improper campaign finance practices stemming from his 2018 win.
Gardner, though, has also focused on thorny policy issues while chairman. Throughout 2020 he oversaw an effort to deregulate mining in Horry County and in 2021 helped pass an update to the county’s building code that would protect homes in flood zones.
Gardner also helped the county implement impact fees, a charge on new building that can help pay for certain infrastructure projects.
Read more about Gardner here.
Mark Lazarus has said he’s running for another term to finish what he started when he led the council. Lazarus, who owns several tourist attractions and works with Waccamaw Land & Timber, is in favor of I-73 and is supported by numerous developers. While in office, Lazarus oversaw the creation and launch of the county’s RIDE III road-building program.
Lazarus also crafted a program to use hospitality fee funds to jump start I-73’s construction, though that program ultimately ensnared the county in a years-long lawsuit with Myrtle Beach and other municipalities.
Read more about Lazarus here.
Johnny Vaught, a current county council member, represents the Forestbrook area. A former professor at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Vaught said he’s running to bring unity and leadership back to the council, something he said was lost under Gardner.
In recent years, Vaught has voted against mask mandates and against solar energy projects. He supports I-73 as well as a “balanced” approach to growth and development. He said he’d focus on improving infrastructure and bringing jobs to Horry County if elected.
Read more about Vaught here.
Katrina Morrison, a Little River resident, has emerged recently as a voice against Horry County’s rapid growth. She favors prioritizing infrastructure so it can catch up to the growth. She’s against I-73 and in favor of protecting wetlands.
Morrison, Grand Strand transplant, has also argued the county should stick more closely to its Imagine 2040 Future Land Use plan rather than constantly amending it. She’s also sued the county over development near her home.
Read more about Morrison here.
County Council District 1
Incumbent Harold Worley, a Republican, is the longest-serving member of the county council. A former state representative, Worley owns a number of businesses and properties along Ocean Drive, North Myrtle Beach’s downtown.
County council members earn $15,966 annually.
Worley in recent years has been in favor of mask mandates and I-73. He’s also pushed for rezoning moratoriums in his district in areas that are overcrowded.
Jenna Dukes, a Republican challenging Worley, works as a pharmacist. She opened and runs Cherry Grove Drug. Dukes said she wants to work to improve county infrastructure and help expand the county’s hospital capacity.
County Council District 2
Incumbent Bill Howard, a Republican, is running for another term. An owner of the Alabama Theater, Howard has pushed for a tax increase to hire more police officers in recent years. He’s also helped set up fireworks-free zones near the beach.
Dean Richardson, a Republican, is challenging Howard. Richardson owns a local automobile business.
County Council District 7
Incumbent Orton Bellamy, a Republican and the only Black member of county council, is running for a second term. Bellamy ousted the council’s lone Democrat when he won in 2018.
Bellamy has helped bring funding to the Bucksport area for flooding relief and education programs. He also served on the county’s redistricting committee last year.
Jeanette Spurlock, a former Republican candidate for Congress, announced recently that she would challenge Bellamy instead. Spurlock called Bellamy a RINO — a Republican In Name Only — and said she would focus on flooding and development issues if elected.
Spurlock is an active member in the Horry County GOP.
Former Conway City Council member Tom Anderson, a Republican, has also filed to run. Anderson served on the council for two decades. He runs a contracting firm.
County Council District 8
With Vaught running for County Council Chair, his council seat is open. Four candidates have entered the race.
David Ellis, a Republican, works with the homebuilder DR Horton.
Shannon Grady, a Realtor, is active in local Republican politics. She said she’d focus on infrastructure and roads and favors a “managed” approach to growth.
Mikey “Mash” Masciarelli, a Republican, currently serves on the Horry County Planning Commission. A Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway, Masciarelli speaks up frequently at planning meetings to question both developers and residents who complain about growth. He’s said he wants to find a balance between growth and infrastructure.
Brandon Skipper, a Republican and Horry County native, currently works as an insurance broker. He’s said he favors I-73 and improving the county’s infrastructure.
State House of Representatives, District 56
Rep. Tim McGinnis, a Republican, is running unopposed in his bid for re-election.
McGinnis, a former journalist and television news anchor, lives in Myrtle Beach and owns the Famous Toastery restaurant in Carolina Forest. He serves on the Education and Public Service and Legislative Oversight committees.
State House of Representatives, District 104
Rep. William Bailey, a Republican, is running unopposed. Bailey is a former public safety official from North Myrtle Beach and previously explored a run for Congress against Rice. He worked with Horry County Republicans last year to support a state bill to ban mask mandates.
State House of Representatives, District 105
Rep. Kevin Hardee, a Republican is running unopposed. Hardee previously served two terms on Horry County Council and joined the state House in 2013. He lives in Loris and works as an asbestos abatement contractor.
State House of Representatives, District 107
Rep. Case Brittain, a Republican, won a special election in 2020 after state Rep. Alan Clemmons vacated his seat. Brittain, an attorney, is one of the area’s top advocates for I-73 and serves as head of the national lobbying organization pushing for I-73.
Solicitor Circuit 15
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, a Republican, is running unopposed.
Allan Beverly, a Republican, is running to fill retiring Probate Judge Kathy Ward’s seat on the bench. Beverly currently works as the Assistant Probate Judge and secured Richardson’s endorsement. The county probate judge earns $132,407 annually.
County Council District 5
Tyler Servant, a Republican, is running unopposed to hold onto his Surfside Beach council seat. Servant is the youngest member on council. He recently announced county funding for a project that would redesign and add parking to Garden City’s downtown.
County Council District 11
Al Allen, a Republican, is running unopposed to hold onto his Aynor-area council seat. A pilot by trade, Allen represents one of the largest districts on council which includes much of western Horry County.
This story was originally published March 30, 2022 12:29 PM.