Candidates vying to be Republican nominee for 7th Congressional District face off in debate

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT|Updated: May. 5, 2022 at 9:26 PM EDT
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Five candidates hoping to be the Republican nominee for the 7th Congressional District faced off in a debate Thursday night.

The debate was presented by the Florence County Republican Party and being held at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center.

WMBF News anchor Eric Weisfeld provided opening remarks, while former South Carolina lieutenant governor and host of Wake Up Carolina on Live 95, Ken Ard, will moderate the debate.

The candidates on the debate stage were incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, Barbara Arthur, Dr. Garrett Barton, Russell Fry and Ken Richardson.

While there are more than five candidates in the race, the Florence County Republican Party set requirements for the debate, and that only the top five campaign fundraisers could participate in it.

Mark McBride and Spencer Morris are also candidates in the race.

During the debate, Rice’s vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump for the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was the first topic of discussion. Candidates were also asked questions about trade and immigration, Horry County’s infrastructure priorities and if federal debt is a matter of national security.

Click below to watch the debate in its entirety.

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