MYRTLE BEACH — In what has become a familiar battle, Republican state Rep. Tracy Edge and Democratic opponent Charles Randall will face off for the 104th District seat in the S.C. House of Representatives next month.
Randall lost to Edge in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Edge said the issues facing residents of the 104th District are the same as they were when he was first elected in 1996 – traffic and infrastructure.
Edge pointed to his successes over the years, including helping with the construction of Carolina Bays Parkway, Conway Bypass and Robert Grissom Parkway.
“My district had been shortchanged for many years and not getting the money it needed for new infrastructure,” he said. “I rose up the ranks really fast and was put on the House Ways and Means Committee. … Being in that position allowed me to bring money home to Horry County.”
Randall said while Edge has done a lot for the district over the years, he hasn’t seen as many accomplishments in his current term.
“Mr. Edge has been there for 16 years. I’ll never take away from what he’s done, but it seems like the last two years he’s not produced,” he said. But Edge said there’s more to be done in the district and he is the one to do it.
“I still maintain the most visible role in writing the state budget as well as allocating tax dollars to come back to this area. As well as playing an increasing role in setting tax policy,” he said.
“It also takes a lot of experience to be able to be effective in economic development, which is an increasing issue for me in the next two years.”
Randall said he continues to pursue the House seat because he feels he is the one that can be most effective.
“I’m the one among the two who will put service above self,” he said. “If I have to bend to get things resolved to serve the people, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Randall said that, if elected, he plans to tackle unemployment in District 104, which covers the northeast corner of Horry County.
“The most important thing is to deal with this job situation. I want to instill within people that small business is the heartbeat of the community,” he said. “I will put together a plan that will help get jobs started in our district.”
Randall also pointed to Edge’s recent arrest on driving under suspension charges, writing in a letter to the editor that appeared in The Sun News that Edge’s ability and effectiveness to serve has been “gravely damaged.”
Edge had his license suspended on Sept. 13 because he failed to pay a speeding ticket, according to records with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. After he was stopped, Edge maintained that he had taken care of the matter on Sept. 24, three days before his arrest on Sept. 27. He was charged with driving under suspension and held at the North Myrtle Beach public safety building from 4:37 a.m. to 5:21 a.m. His license suspension was lifted Oct. 2.
Edge said he doesn’t think the arrest will impact his re-election bid.
“I was innocent that day and will [be cleared of the charges] very soon,” he said.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722.