MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -
this story courtesy of our news partners at MyHorryNews.com
Incumbent S.C. House Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, R-District 68, will face off against political newcomer Libertarian Cameron Ventura in the general election on Tuesday.
The district includes the greater Socastee area.
Ammons Crawford, a Republican who has served since 2012, is an Horry County native from Socastee and works as a businesswoman and Realtor. She has served on the state House’s Ways and Means and Ethics committees.
She was graduated from Socastee High School. Her husband Cam Crawford serves on Horry County Council, representing District 6.
“Representing the area I grew up in and where my family has been for generations in the South Carolina House is one of the greatest honors of my life,” Ammons Crawford said. “I believe we have some work to do and we accomplished a lot together over the last six years.”
Ammons Crawford said she has worked on addressing locals’ infrastructure needs, obtaining state funding of roughly $180,000 to put toward studying dredging the Socastee Creek.
Tropical Storm Florence devastated portions of Socastee in communities like Rosewood and Bridgecreek as well as parts of Forestbrook. Ammons Crawford’s home flooded in Florence’s aftermath.
The research could potentially address some of the stormwater issues in the area, Ammons Crawford said.
She also looks to address road conditions, mentioning the Southern Evacuation Lifeline that would link S.C. 22 with the South Strand, and Interstate 73, a proposed interstate connecting the Grand Strand with Michigan.
While in office, she added, she has worked with others toward tax reform and tackling the opioid crisis.
A bill she sponsored was signed into law regarding homeowners associations, the HOA Act. The reform bill has requirements including having an HOA report governing documents with a county clerk of court or register of deeds office, which makes them public record.
“It is a first step to protecting homeowners in South Carolina,” she said, adding the law helps to bring transparency and uniformity.
Ammons Crawford has also worked on changing the state’s regulations regarding safe havens.
Under Daniel’s Law, a parent can leave his or her newborn infant at places like a firehouse, police station or hospital without being criminally charged if the baby hasn’t been harmed. The State Social Services Department places the baby into a foster home.
Ammons Crawford sponsored a bill that became law in regard to save havens. The amendments made it so a newborn left at a safe haven can be up to 60 days old rather than up to 30 days old. The amendments also require safe havens to have signage.
She hopes to continue to focus on regulations regarding safe havens going forward if she is reelected.
Ammons Crawford also wants to consolidate school districts in the state, therefore saving on overhead expenses, as well as help protect ratepayers.
“It’s an honor serving our community in the South Carolina House and I hope to have the opportunity to continue that service,” she said.
Political newcomer Ventura has his sights on the seat too.
Born and raised in Socastee, Ventura was graduated from Calvary Christian School.
He works as an executive customer relations specialist at Amazon.
Ventura and his wife recently moved back into the area from Charleston. He decided to run for office after being unsatisfied with who was representing him and votes cast.
“I decided I could either complain about it or run,” he said. “This being my neighborhood, my community, I feel really connected to it.”
He noticed a lack of challengers in general elections held for the District 68 since the seat was created.
If elected, Ventura said, he hopes to provide constituents a fiscally responsible representative and someone not wasteful of taxpayer money.
He hopes to introduce legislation that would decrease taxes and uphold freedoms and liberties for community members.
“I want to reduce drastically state debt,” he said. Once the debt is at a manageable level, Ventura said, he would seek to eliminate state income tax and decrease industrial property taxes in order to boost the state economy and make South Carolina a location people would want to come to.
He’d also look to elevate money earmarked for education as well as decrease regulations in order to promote a free market and provide businesses with incentives.
Ventura wants to open a solar market and help Dreamers, individuals who immigrated into the U.S. before turning 16 years old, who, if certain criteria were met, were given temporary relief from deportation and employment authorization.
He cited a “huge” immigrant population in Socastee and said many of those individuals don’t have a voice. Ventura is also in favor of selling multiple properties owned by the state.
He encouraged voters heading to the polls to look at whom they’re selecting to represent them and the voting record. He stressed a candidate’s actions may not align with beliefs of his or her party.
“I encourage them to consider not just straight-ticket voting but voting based on principles and policies,” he said.