Kelly campaign voicemail suggests opponent resign in exchange fo - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Kelly campaign voicemail suggests opponent resign in exchange for favors

Left: Bob Kelly/ Right: Oliver "Bubba" Owens Left: Bob Kelly/ Right: Oliver "Bubba" Owens

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Bob Kelly and Oliver “Bubba” Owens will face each other in a runoff Republican primary election later this month for the District 3 seat of the Horry County Council. Bubba Owens’ campaign manager, Donald Smith, recently received a voicemail from Bob Kelly’s campaign manager prompting Owens to consider dropping out of the race.

“I was stunned because I didn't realize somebody would stoop that low,” Bubba Owens said.

In the voicemail, Jim Wiles says the following:

“Hey Donald. It's Jim Wiles, Bob Kelly's guy. Um, I met with [redacted] this morning and suggested to him that um, Team Bubba should put together a shopping list of stuff they would want for downtown Myrtle Beach, for Bob Kelly to commit to in exchange for Bubba dropping out…”

Listen to the raw audio of the voicemail here:

When Jim Wiles was asked Tuesday night why he left this message, he said “The point was we thought Mr. Owens had a very uphill road to hold, and at the same time we wanted to try to unite to try to go forward to December 22nd to defeat the Democrat.”

Wiles said he's been talking with members of Bubba Owen's campaign about the potential of him dropping out.

“Therefore you reach out to Mr. Owens and his campaign and say tell us what you need, tell us what you need. I need your voters,” Wiles said.

Owens said he nor his people have been talking with Wiles about dropping out.

“I call them the dream team. They are all professionals, they are very secure in what they do. They believe in me. I just want people to know we're going to do the best we can, we aren't going to sling no mud,” Owens expressed.

Wiles said the message was about how they'd work together if Kelly won the race.

“What I was seeking to do and what we were seeking to do, was to demonstrate that we heard this message loud and clear, and if the ball bounced our way next Tuesday that these concerns would be addressed,”  explained Wiles.

Owens pointed out either way there would be a runoff election because if he dropped out the third place candidate would take over.

“It ain't like getting rid of me, is going to solve this problem. There will be a runoff. I mean I don't understand where they are getting their information from, there will be a runoff, and I will be in it and I'm not backing down for nobody,” Owens stated.

Wiles defended the voicemail saying “But Bob would like to prove his commitment to treating Myrtle Beach the way he treats Carolina Forest by being the bridge between the two.”

Bob Kelly said he did not know of Wiles’ call to Bubba's campaign.

He said he still believes he is the best candidate for the seat.

Kelly and Owens will face off in a runoff election on November 17.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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