In today’s runoff election, voters will determine who will face Democrat Ryan Thompson in November for the Surfside Beach State House seat. Republicans Val Guest and Brian Sweeney are on the ballot.
It was determined there would be a runoff when two weeks ago Guest ended the evening with approximately 38% of the vote, or 2,627 votes, and Sweeney ended the evening with approximately 32% of the vote, that’s 2,174 votes, according to the South Carolina Election Commission.
It’s been a busy two weeks for Guest and Sweeney.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get people to vote again so soon after the primary,” Guest said. “The last two weeks have been non-stop. … But I feel good and the people I spoke to have indicated that they will be back and if they vote as they told me then I feel like things will be fine for me.
Guest also said Howard Barnard and Bruce Bailey, the other two Republican candidates who ran for that State House seat in the primaries, endorsed it.
Sweeney said he was “cautiously optimistic” about today’s results.
“The last two weeks have been very eventful. Lots of activity, lots of speeches, talks, meeting people, all the good stuff,” he said. “I enjoyed it very much.”
Sweeney said he is running on a “pro-life” and “pro-Second Amendment” platform.
“I want to have fair elections,” he said. “I want to take the tax money out to go to the Myrtle Beach area chamber of commerce. … The roads need to be repaired and the infrastructure needs to be improved.”
Guest said that if elected, his goal will be to “bring back (re)our fair share”.
“We send a lot of money to Columbia, from all the revenue we get for tourism taxes and stuff like that,” he said. “Obviously we’re not going to be making money for dollar, but if we can make the money we deserve, then we’ll have money for our infrastructure, to maintain our roads and bridges, to build new roads, we We’ll have money to pay teachers, law enforcement, our first responders. We will not only have money to pay their salaries, but also to provide them with the resources they need to train and do the job.
Guest said he also hopes to work to improve Horry County’s evacuation system.
Polling stations are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.