SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Many Surfside Beach residents are frustrated over the amount of politically-based flyers ending up in their mailboxes and door frames ahead of the town's April 5 election.
"It's a little town (with) 2,000 people. How can there be big political infighting?" said Laurence McKeen.
"I think everybody is just kind of glad when it's over," Robert Steele explained.
Flyers bashing candidates running for either mayor or a town council seat have been circulating around the town of Surfside Beach over the last four months. One flyer refers to Mayor Doug Samples as a monkey.
Another lists the two running mayoral candidates along with everyone seeking a council seat. The title of that flyer is, "Describing the candidates in words."
The flyer goes on to use words like "arrogant," "liberal" and "unethical" for those candidates the writer opposes. For those the author is in favor of, words like "senior friendly" and "fair" are used.
"It's kind of like, we want to laugh about it, but they are so bad, we just can't really laugh about it," McKeen said.
Samples said Thursday it was unfortunate local politics had to be so nasty. When he decided to run for re-election, he knew he had to have thick skin.
For many residents a trip to the trash can follows the receipt of these letters.
"I read them kind of fast and put them in the garbage. I think people are smart enough to make up their own mind," Steele said.
Many of the flyers have anonymous comments complimenting one candidate while bashing the rest.
For most, however, this secret admirer isn't fooling anybody.
"To me it just makes me want to ... vote for the guys being targeted because it doesn't seem fair," McKeen said.
One thing residents do respect more than than the flyers is the candidates going door-to door, meeting people face-to-face and explaining their stances on various situations around town.
"If they would just be honest and just give us their plans and what they really stand for rather than throwing all of this mud and dirt, I think people would be much happier about elections in general and that happens at all levels," McKeen added.
Flyers aside, for those still on the fence with their votes, there's another candidate debate this Sunday at 3 p.m. in the council chambers at Surfside Town Hall.