Candidates for Horry council chair seat now up to four

bdickerson@thesunnews.comJanuary 21, 2013 

— The list of names of those who say they will seek Tom Rice’s former seat as Horry County Council chairman has grown to four.

Local business woman Debbie Harwell said she will fill out the necessary paperwork Tuesday at about 11 a.m.

Harwell hadn’t made a formal decision on Friday, the first day to file for the seat, but decided over the weekend to give it a go.

“This area’s been very, very good to me,” Harwell said. “I just want to do my part, to give back.”

She spent a portion of Monday putting together a campaign website.

Harwell also was a candidate in the 7th Congressional District race, but dropped out after her husband became ill during the 2011 holiday season.

As to why she thinks she’d be a good fit to lead Horry County Council, Harwell said she understands the different segments of the county. She was raised in a farming family living in one of the county’s more rural areas, and now resides closer to the beach.

Harwell believes the biggest issue of the campaign will be economic development, and expanding the economy beyond just tourism.

She now joins local businessman Mark Lazarus, County Councilman Al Allen and former council chairman Liz Gillandas the four who have stated their intentions to run.

Both Lazarus and Allen filed their paperwork on Friday. Gilland said she’d planned to file on Monday, but learned the Horry County Republican Party headquarters would be closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Like Harwell, Gilland said she’ll now file her paperwork on Tuesday.

The filing deadline to enter the race is Jan. 28.

The special election will fill the seat left open when Rice was elected as the 7th Congressional District’s new U.S. representative in November.

A primary election is scheduled for March 12, followed by the April 30 general election.

The person elected will fill a term that expires in 2014.

Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_bdickerson.

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