SURFSIDE BEACH — Tyler Servant was greeted with a roaring applause Tuesday night when he entered Valentino’s II awaiting results of the Horry County Council District 5 Republican primary runoff.
The cheers from a room at the restaurant escalated when Servant was named the winner defeating Reese Boyd III 1,053 to 822. Results remain unofficial until a certification hearing Thursday.
Servant had the most votes in the initial election June 10, but did not have enough to avoid Tuesday’s runoff. When results of the initial election were announced, Boyd was in third place, but a discrepancy with 525 absentee paper ballots moved Boyd ahead of Cliff Smith and into the runoff.
Boyd said the last fortnight has been a roller coaster and said the results Tuesday weren’t what he was hoping for.
“We said from the onset that we were going to trust the voters even if they chose someone else,” he said.
Servant said he thinks his door-to-door, grassroots campaign gave him an edge.
“It’s been a humbling experience,” he said. “From the beginning the critics said a 23-year-old who ran a clean issue-oriented grassroots campaign couldn’t win. We made the most phone calls, knocked on the most doors, shook the most hands … we proved the critics wrong.”
Sandy Martin, director of elections in Horry County, said no major issues were reported at the polls during the election Tuesday.
She said turnout, according to poll workers, was “pretty slow.” Results at the end of the night showed 4.18 percent voter turnout.
“Typically in a runoff, the turnout is usually lighter,” Martin said. “With it being mostly state offices, we usually don’t have a heavy turn out. It is heavier on the south end, where they have the county council race, but it is not by any means a strong turnout.”
There is no Democratic challenger for the seat in the November election.
Servant said he plans to help the county adopt the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s community rating system to help lower homeowners insurance rates when he takes the seat in January.
Boyd said he will get back to working as a lawyer and helping the community any way he can.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381 or on Twitter @TSN_AKelley.