HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Three candidates are vying for the South Carolina House of Representatives District 56 seat. WMBF Investigates looked into their eligibility after a filing form for one candidate was altered.
Mike Ryhal submitted his resignation August 7, to take effect August 14.
Dr. Dwyer Scott, one of the candidates for the now-open seat, says he moved into a Carolina Forest apartment on August 17, three days after Ryhal officially resigned.
Scott listed his address as 107 Village Center Boulevard in a form filed August 25. That is the address for the management office for The Lively at Carolina Forest.
Sandy Martin, the director of the Horry County Election Commission, confirms with WMBF News, Scott's address was updated with a new street address and unit number on October 2, more than five weeks after he filed and exactly one month after filing closed. Martin said the change was called into her office, but could not say who called to make the change.
Public records show Scott lived at Murray Avenue in June 2017. The Market Common address is not in District 56. Scott tells WMBF News he is between homes and has lived in and worked in District 56 for 15 years.
South Carolina law dictates a candidate must be a legal resident of the district at the time of filing.
Scott says he can prove he lived in the apartment complex starting August 17. He has not provided that proof.
County party officials are responsible for verifying the validity of a candidate.
Dreama Perdue, chairwoman of the Horry County Republican Party, released a statement to WMBF News: "Each candidate has met all qualifications to run for the District 56 seat."
Perdue said that was her only statement on the matter when asked if the party verified where Scott lived at the time of filing.
Tim McGinnis, also running for the District 56 seat, listed a home on Juxa Drive as his address. Land records show McGinnis owns that home. Adam Miller listed an address on Pickerel Boulevard in Longs. Miller tells WMBF News his parents own the home, and he says he lives in the home.
The Republican primary is Tuesday, the general election is January 2. No Democrat filed for the seat.
Dip Deeper: See Dr. Dwyer Scott's publicly-available filing form in the PDF below: