Thursday, June 19, 2014
And then there were two.
Horry County Republican voters on June 10 winnowed the list of four candidates contending for the District 5 seat on County Council to two.
Reese Boyd III and Tyler Servant are the choices June 24 to succeed retiring Councilman Paul Price.
Servant of Surfside Beach, was the top vote-getter, collecting 1,077 votes while Boyd, of Murrells Inlet, finished with 630 votes.
Electors cast 411 votes for Chuck Ottwell and 360 for Clif Smith.
While there are some differences between the two men, in many areas, Boyd and Servant are similar.
Both are newcomers to elected office, both have strong ties to the area and to the county, and each picked up the endorsement of one of his primary opponents. Smith has endorsed Boyd and Ottwell has become Servant’s campaign chairman.
While much of Servant’s support came from his hometown and Garden City, he said he is not focusing on geography in the runoff.
“My “base” is less on geography, more on philosophy,” said Servant.
“At the end of the day, the people who share that philosophy and support my campaign will be the majority.”
But he’s not taking that for granted. From now until the election, he said he plans to speak with 247 voters each day.
He said that allows one-on-one interaction, something that he says the voters deserve.
Boyd is equally confident. “We don’t have the financial resources of my opponent, but we’re the candidate who is most qualified. If voters look at my resume and my opponent’s, they will agree that I am the most qualified,” he said.
Boyd said that while he had experience working for political entities, most notably former Gov. Carroll Campbell, being on the candidate side of the campaign was a different experience.
“You meet some great people,” he said, and you get to hear their concerns.
All four men said they enjoyed the experience of running for public office.
Ottwell has long been a fixture in Republican politics along the South Strand. He resigned as president of the South Strand Republican Club to run for office, but even he was surprised at the low turnout, particularly among some of the senior citizen communities.
“I really thought we could pull some votes out of Jensen’s,” he said. “That didn’t happen.”
Smith, a businessman, said he really enjoyed the opportunity to meet the voters in the district.
“Most of the people were just as nice as they can be – about 99 percent of them,” he said.
He said he was also impressed by the way the political system works.
“It’s the best system in the world,” he said, even though he was on the losing end of a glitch.
Originally when the absentee votes for the primary were counted, he was listed in second place. But a hand recount dropped him into fourth and moved Boyd into second.
While Smith did not emphatically rule out another run for office, he said he was going to concentrate on his business, which took second to his campaign during the primary.