NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — City Council runoff candidates Tom Powell and Nikki Fontana each said the last two weeks or so since the Nov. 5 election have been challenging to recruit voters from throughout town.
Neither of the two secured enough votes to outright win the Windy Hill ward seat, so the two must face-off in a citywide runoff Tuesday where they not only must convince voters in their ward that they are the best candidate for the job, but they now must spread that message to all voters in the city since all are eligible to vote in a runoff.
Powell is a college-educated military veteran with 33 years of business experience and many years with various community organizations.
“Whenever you have a runoff election like this, getting the other voters out to vote for you is extremely difficult,” Powell said. “You need to canvass the entire city and that’s where it gets hard.”
Fontana, a small business owner who has served as a group leader of the Windy Hill Neighborhood Watch Group and attended the city’s first Citizens Police Academy, agreed with the challenge of a runoff election.
“It’s been very busy,” she said of the time since Nov. 5. “We’ve been working day and night to get a new strategy together so that we can get everybody out to the polls on the 19th. People tend to forget about getting back out during a runoff.”
Fontana ran on the platform that growth must be handled responsibly, and she wants to keep North Myrtle Beach’s “small hometown feel.”
“I’m going to work for everyone, not only for the people of Windy Hill,” she said in an interview with The Sun News late last week. “I will be working and representing everyone in North Myrtle Beach. I want them to do their research and to pick the best candidate that they feel would do the job.
“The community, as a whole, is a great one and I want to help represent that.”
Powell said he continued to run on the platform that he, too, would represent everyone in the city.
“Granted I’m from this ward, and I’ve got to look out for the people of this ward, and that’s where I’ll concentrate most of my time,” Powell said. “But I want to represent all of the people of North Myrtle Beach.
“We just need more people to come out on Tuesday than would normally come out in a runoff election.”
Voters citywide still need two forms of identification to vote, and must cast their votes at one of the North Myrtle Beach polls between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_jrodriguez.