Candidates for House District 106 Seat square off in debate - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Candidates for House District 106 Seat square off in debate

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Candidates vying for the House of Representative District 106 seat squared off one last time in a debate Tuesday night.

The South Strand Republican Club hosted the debate one week before voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots in the special election.

The debate was held at the South Strand Recreation Center. Four candidates are running for the position, they include Russell Fry, Dr. Roy Sprinkle, Tyler Servant, and Sanford Cox Graves. 

Voters got the opportunity to meet and greet the candidates as they decide who will represent them best at the Statehouse. 

Tough questions were thrown at the candidates Tuesday night, questions about how to handle taxes, improving infrastructure, jobs and the economy.

"The focus is on getting Horry County's money back to Horry County. It is about working with our local officials here, to come up with smart creative solutions to builds things like the SELL Project, to make sure our interchanges are good, and to ease the traffic flow while we're going through a very busy tourism season," said Candidate Russell Fry, a native of Surfside Beach. 

Dr. Roy Sprinkle has practiced Podiatry in Surfside Beach for nearly 20 years. At the debate he made it clear that if elected he was willing to fight for the people. "I think I pay enough taxes. I'm tired of paying taxes and my position is we're here to try to hold our government accountable to 'we the people' these are our tax dollars not the government's," said Sprinkle.

Sanford Graves has held several positions within Horry County, even serving as Chief Deputy Attorney for Horry County and Assistant Solicitor. "There are issues. We can talk about mopeds, we can talk about interstates, we can talk about shark bites, but what you need to do when you go to Columbia, is to approach problems in a methological way where you are seen as an advocate, you are seen as someone that can make a difference," said Graves.

Tyler Servant, also a candidate, was not at the debate. A representative spoke to the audience stating he could not make it, and asked if the date of Tuesday's debate be rescheduled so he could attend.  Several residents expressed disappointment about Servant's absence. 

I would have really liked to have seen all four of the candidates from what I understand [Servant] hadn't been to any of the debates, now I might be wrong, I don't think he has been to any of them, so I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see what he was all about and hear his perspective on issues," said Jeanna Johnson, a resident of the Burgess community. 

Another resident felt like all the candidates were transparent, and believes the person elected has some big shoes to fill after Nelson Hardwick, who held the position for 10 years. 

Keith Vanwinkle said, "Taxes, bloated government, and wasteful spending and I think all three of them were pretty much on lock step in that taxes are kept low, government officials were held accountable." 

The house seat is now vacant after Hardwick resigned back in May of this year following an investigation into an inappropriate conduct complaint filed against him.

Voters will head to the polls, Tuesday, July 28, 2015 to vote. For more information on voting click here.

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