MYRTLE BEACH — The two candidates vying to represent the newly formed state House District 56 are back on the campaign trail and out of the courtroom.
On Oct. 2, a Circuit Court Judge sided with petition candidate Mike Ryhal following a lawsuit filed by fellow petitioner Dennis DiSabato.
DiSabato’s lawsuit accused Ryhal of improper filing procedures as a petition candidate. He said Saturday he hadn’t made any decisions about an appeal.
“I was surprised by the judge’s ruling,” DiSabato said, adding he brought the action to give clarity to the election process.
Ryhal said any further legal action is in DiSabato’s hands.
For now, both are back knocking on doors and asking voters in District 56 – it stretches from Carolina Forest to S.C. 9 – to come out and support their respective campaigns on Nov. 6.
Ryhal says infrastructure improvements for the district are necessary if it’s to keep growing.
But he’s not simply talking about widening area roads such as Carolina Forest Boulevard or U.S. 501. Ryhal believes the proposed Interstate 73 is absolutely essential when looking at long-term growth.
Businesses need to be able to transport goods in and out of the area, and I-73’s one way to do that, Ryhal said.
Plus, he said he believes I-73 could alleviate some of the traffic congestion problems local roads like U.S. 501 experience. It’s a problem that’s only going to grow as more people move into the area and more tourists come in to visit, he said.
“We all know what it’s like in the summertime,” Ryhal said.
DiSabato agrees that interstates are a way to help an area diversify its economy, a concern that voters are talking to him about.
In the Carolina Forest community, DiSabato said there’s also concern from parents about needing a new middle school. The burgeoning area’s three elementary schools, he added, are all feeding into just one middle school.
Still, one of the main things DiSabato hopes to accomplish at the statehouse level, if elected, is enacting sales tax reform. He said South Carolina’s 6 percent sales tax is one of the highest in the country, and he’d like to see it lowered to 4 percent.
Whatever the account, it’s been a rocky ride for the two en route to Nov. 6.
Before the lawsuit, the two Republican candidates were tossed off the ballot before the June primaries, along with hundreds of others statewide, following a state Supreme Court ruling disqualifying them because they failed to file their Statement of Economic Interests form at the same time as their candidacy notice.
They successfully got back on as petition candidates.
“This particular race has been very interesting, from all aspects,” Ryhal said.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.