Conway city councilman not seeking re-election, will run for state senate seat

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 11:35 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - A recently-elected member of Conway City Council says he will not seek re-election and will instead run for office at the state level.

Autry Benton announced via a statement Friday that he is withdrawing his name from the upcoming November election and will not appear on the ballot. Benton said he made the decision after “much personal reflection, prayer and discussions with my wife and children.” He added that he intends to serve out the remainder of his term on city council, which runs through Dec. 31.

“During the many conversations I had with voters in my campaign last spring for special election to city council, I found that Conway citizens are generally happy with the condition and direction of the city,” Benton said. “The major complaints I heard from voters during that campaign and in my short time in office since were about infrastructure in general and roads in particular. Concerns about increasing road congestion and the problems the congestion bring to travel, both in Conway and the county in general, seem to be a topic of discussion around many dinner tables.”

Benton then said he intends to run on the Republican ticket for the South Carolina Senate in District 33 in next year’s election. The seat is currently held by Sen. Luke Rankin, a fellow Republican.

“It’s time for the necessary improvements to Horry County infrastructure to stop being ignored in Columbia. It’s time for Horry County to get a consistently strong voice for its fair share of state budget funds for roads and infrastructure,” said Benton.

Benton was elected to Conway City Council earlier this year following a special election that went to a runoff. He was sworn in the following month.

You can read his full statement below.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.