‘You can’t finish one thing in one term’: Longtime Myrtle Beach councilman announces re-election

Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 11:25 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Longtime Myrtle Beach City Councilman Mike Chestnut is putting his name in the hat once again to serve a 7th term on city council.

Unlike Horry County Council, where each council member represents a district they live in, Chestnut said each Myrtle Beach City Council member represents the city as a whole.

“We’re not in districts, so we’re at large,” said Chestnut. “All three of these seats are at large, so if somebody else is running, they’re not running against me per se, they’re running for one of those seats.”

Chestnut has served on the Myrtle Beach City Council for over two decades.

When asked if he was ready to pass the torch or even mentor the next potential leaders to have a shot for an open seat, he said it was something he’d look into.

“I have young people all the time asking me, ‘Hey Mike, can we shadow you? Can we walk with you?” said Chestnut. “I encourage people to do that all the time, I had a matter of fact, I encourage people to come to council meetings.”

Currently, Chestnut is the only African American on the Myrtle Beach City Council.

He said some of his proudest accomplishments over the years include renovations to the historic Charlie’s Place, completions to Futrell Park development and the beginning stages towards the Arts and Innovation District to name a few.

He’s also been a business owner of Big Mike’s Soul Food for the past 11 years.

It’s been a place of uniting people in the community, like Myrtle Beach resident Terrence Middleton, who said got his first job at Big Mike’s Soul Food when he was 15 years old.

During Chestnut’s re-election kickoff event, Middleton said he’s ready to see him continue protecting and serving Myrtle Beach.

“You can’t finish one thing or certain things in one term,” said Middleton. “It takes a commitment and the thrive to work for your very own hometown or home city, and I think he has that. He cares for you And that’s not only in the community that’s in the church or wherever he goes.”

Chestnut said although he’s seen great progress in the city in the last 23 years, a big priority still remains with the residents and other business owners’ safety.

“Whether you been here for a year or whether you been here for 40 years, I think that’s our job as a council member is to listen to the concerns of the residents,” Chestnutt said.

The three councilman terms set to expire January 2024 are Chestnut, Councilman John Krajc, and Councilman Phillip Render.

Voting for the three open council seats will be held Tuesday, November 7.