MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – U.S. Rep. Tom Rice’s vote to impeach President Trump has received so much opposition in the local political community that some are considering a run against him.
Both Ken Richardson, chairman of Horry County Schools, and former Mayor Mark McBride have become potential rivals for the U.S. House seat in the primary, according to the New York Times.
The Times’ report on the 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment said Richardson told them Rep. Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, is “going to be primaried.” Richardson is leaning toward running against Rice and called his constituency “Trump country,” according to the article.
News13 reached out to Richardson, who said his only focus right now is on Horry County Schools.
“My political future is second to doing my job as chairman of Horry County Schools and getting the kids back in school safely,” he said. “I don’t see a reason to discuss something two years away with all that we are facing today.”
Rice’s vote also drew a rebuke from the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, Drew McKissick, who called Trump’s impeachment vote a sham. “Democrats have been looking for any excuse to get rid of President Trump ever since he set foot in the Oval Office,” McKissick released in a statement. “We completely disagree with this sham and to say I’m severely disappointed in Congressman Tom Rice would be an understatement.”
Dreama Purdue, chair of the Horry County GOP, echoed McKissick’s statement: “…to say I’m severely disappointed and frustrated in Congressman Tom Rice would be an understatement.”
Rice said he’s heard from a lot of constituents who were horrified at Trump’s comments and a lot of people who continue to support Trump.
“He just sat in the White House and watched what happened on TV, and I think that is horrifying. I think he completely abdicated his leadership,” Rice said about Trump’s response to the riots at the Capitol, during which five people died.
Rep. Rice told News13 he voted to do what he thought was the right thing.
“I can’t imagine another president in my lifetime, or any lifetime, who would have gone through that event and not tried to stop it — not taken real effort to stop it,” Rice said. “And number two, after it, to try and heal the wounds, and he has not done that in any shape or fashion.”
“To my constituents, I love you and thank you for the job,” Rice said. “If you’re disappointed in me, I understand and if it cost me my job, that’s the way it is.”