Unofficial results show Gardner defeating Lazarus to become new Horry County Council chairman

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Challenger Johnny Gardner appears to have defeated incumbent Mark Lazarus to become the new chairman of the Horry County Council.

According to Tuesday's unofficial results, Gardner amassed roughly 50.4 percent of the total vote to Lazarus' 50 percent.

The results are set to be certified on Thursday.

Shortly after 11 p.m., the county's website stated all precincts had reported in. Then, around 11:30 p.m., a note on the site stated "Unofficial Election Results - Some Votes Not Included In Results Below."

Sandy Martin, director of Horry County Elections, said due to technical issues there are five machines that could have votes which were not counted.

Lazarus alluded to election problems during a speech shortly after the results went in Gardner's favor.

There were no Democratic candidates who filed to run for county council chairman, meaning Gardner will run unopposed in November's general election if the primary's results stand.

This is Gardner's first time seeking public office and his campaign was based on the three "Rs" – responsibility, reform and respect.

Gardner worked for two years in the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office and has been practicing law at his own Conway law firm for more than 25 years.

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