Two candidates, including Horry County School Board chairman, announce candidacies for District 7 seat

Candidates announce runs for District 7 seat
Ken Richardson plans to visit all 57 schools in the district in the next couple weeks.
Ken Richardson plans to visit all 57 schools in the district in the next couple weeks. (Source: Patrick Lloyd WMBF)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The chairman of the Horry County School Board is officially throwing his hat into the ring for a U.S. Congress seat.

On Wednesday, Ken Richardson announced he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for the South Carolina 7th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Rep. Tom Rice.

“I will not be seeking reelection to the school board chairmanship in 2022,” Richardson said in a statement. “Instead I am 100 percent dedicated to taking Tom Rice out of Congress.”

Richardson’s background included 20 years as chairman of the board of trustees at Horry Georgetown Technical College before being elected as chairman of the board for Horry County Schools. He is also a former car salesman.

“Education will continue to be a top priority of mine at the federal level,” said Richardson. “I believe what is taught in our schools is very important and I am willing to fight for top quality education across the nation.”

During a news conference Wednesday, Richardson said he didn’t believe that former President Donald Trump was responsible for last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. He also criticized Rice for not voting the way District 7 would have wanted.

Another candidate, Jeanette Spurlock, also announced she is running for the District 7 seat on Wednesday.

Goal: To become YOUR voice in Congress on the national level. So often we depend on those in government to be our voice...

Posted by Jeanette Spurlock for US Congress SC District 7 on Saturday, January 16, 2021

“I intend to run a respectful campaign, demonstrating that integrity and honesty are at my core,” said Spurlock in a press release.

She said she will support efforts to prevent the flooding “that devastates our area year after year,” initiatives to strengthen the economy, and work on revamping social services.

“Leading, and making proud, The people of District 7 will be my honor. Finding solutions to the issues that our communities have, will always be my priority,” said Spurlock.

Both announcements came after State Rep. Russell Fry said Sunday that he exploring his own options for a possible campaign.

Weeks ago, Rice voted to impeach Trump and was later formally censured by the South Carolina GOP.

Following that vote, Rice said that he “did the right thing” through his impeachment vote, and has continued to back his decision ever since.

Rice provided this statement to WMBF News shortly after the announcements on Wednesday.

“In politics, campaign opposition is a part of the job, especially in the House of Representatives, where you are up for reelection every 2 years. It keeps you sharp.

I’ve had opposition in every election to date. I expect I will have opposition in 2022 as well. I have a strong conservative voting record. I’ve achieved a lot for our district. I’m proud of my accomplishments.

I welcome the public debate.”

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