MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A runoff to fill the third seat in Myrtle Beach City Council is set for Tuesday, two weeks after election day.
The runoff pits incumbent John Krajc against Bill McClure. Debbie Conner and incumbent Mike Chestnut both secured their seat in council on election day.
Both McClure and Krajc said they’ve been campaigning nonstop for the past two weeks — and it hasn’t been cheap. The maximum contribution someone can donate for local candidates is $1,000.
According to the last campaign report, Krajc had more than $84,000 in contributions, while McClure had almost $14,000.
“My big message for voters is if you do support, regardless of what candidate, no vote can be taken for granted. If you think someone has it in the bag, that’s when they don’t,” Krajc said. “We have to get people out to vote tomorrow. If you’re leaving town tomorrow, please take five minutes to go in. There won’t be lines at the polls at a runoff on Thanksgiving week. Take the time to go vote. I’m asking you to come out to vote, regardless of who it’s for.”
McClure echoed Krajc’s sentiment.
“When you’re the challenger, you always have to be concerned about the incumbents,” he said. “Incumbents always have a leg up and quite frankly, in a runoff situation, a lower turnout would statistically favor the incumbent. That’s why we’re so anxious to get people to come out to vote.”
McClure said his contributors consist of family, friends and local businesses. He’s focused his campaigning on social media and word of mouth.
Krajc said he has donors from attorneys, builders, retirees and realtors. He thinks it’s important to reach diverse places so he can get his message out and continue the issues he’s been working on.
“Major crime is down 41% across the city, over $100 million in infrastructure pending a second vote in December,” Krajc said. “We will increase law enforcement pay nearly 40% and firefighter pay nearly 30%. That’s a huge deal.”
McClure agrees that the city needs to not only hire more first responders, but retain them as well.
“Police and our firefighters, these young men and women have a difficult job,” he said. “What we need to do in terms of public safety is recognize that first.”
Both candidates said they want the city to have a voice. They also shared what they’d like to see happen if elected.
“I think there’s more work to do on public safety, working with the police department and fill the unfilled spots that we have there. We have to continue working on building a downtown that the entire city can be proud of because that affects public safety, economic diversification so we can attract jobs beyond tourism,” Krajc said. “If we build the right downtown, more people can come here and we can be proud of it as a year-round city.”
“I would like to move the meetings to the evening so that we can have more citizens participate. I would want to do it with city council members, but even if they’re not available, what I’d like to do is have four town halls every year,” McClure said. “Once a quarter so that we’re meeting with the citizens rather than council telling them what’s going to happen. We need to hear from the citizens so they can tell us what’s going to happen.”
McClure said if you want a voice in how your government is run, you have to get out and vote.
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Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.