Field expands in race for top Horry Co. Council spot

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The filing period for the Horry County Council chairman seat hasn't even officially started yet, but two people have already thrown their names in the running.

Councilman Bob Grabowski announced Friday morning at a news conference that he will be running. Grabowski represents District 6, which includes the Socastee area, and serves as chairman of the Public Safety Committee.

"I think it's so important that we need somebody who will look at the big picture. I think I can do that," said Grabowski. "I can look at the big picture and the long range plan and make decisions that will benefit the people of Horry County in the long run."

Current County Council Chair Liz Gilland hasn't yet said if she is going to run for re-election.

In January, Councilman Howard Barnard announced that he would like the seat. Barnard represents District 5, which includes Garden City and Surfside. He says his experience on many of the council committees gives him an edge.

"I think you have to ask who has the most experience," said Barnard. "On current council right now, I'm the only one that's served on infrastructure regulation, administration, as well as public safety."

If Grabowski doesn't get the chairman seat, he is still on council until 2012. However, Barnard's District 5 seat is up for reelection this year, and if he doesn't get voted in as chairman, he then loses his seat on the council.

Including the chairman seat, seven seats on county council are up for re-election this year.

The filing opens for the primaries on March 16 at noon and goes until March 30. The primary election is on June 8 with the general election on November 2.

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