This story has been updated.
Myrtle Beach mayoral candidate Brenda Bethune raised $29,600 in less than a week, according to a campaign finance report filed Monday.
Bethune, the majority owner of food and beverage distributor Better Brands, Inc., is a political novice but appears to have had little issue funding her campaign so far. She listed 31 donations from July 11 to July 17.
After paying for a kickoff party at the 2nd Avenue Pier and promotional items, she reported $27,333 remaining in cash on hand.
“We have commitments for much more ... so I’m very pleased with it,” Bethune said. She added that her campaign and steering committee have sent out roughly 1,500 letters.
The cash haul was boosted in part by companies Bethune owns in part or whole. According to her report, Better Brands, real estate company BJ Investment Limited Partnership and wedding shops Little White Dress and Madison Rowe contributed $1,000 each, the maximum individual contribution for a local candidate.
Her husband Brown Bethune’s company, WB Bethune Holdings, also contributed $1,000.
The haul puts her close to Mayor John Rhodes, who has said he plans to run for a fourth term. Rhodes had not yet filed a fundraising report for the 2017 election on Tuesday morning, but his campaign account from the 2013 election had $28,458 remaining in cash on hand as of a July 10 filing. Candidates can keep a balance in their campaign accounts “for a subsequent race for the same elective office,” according to guidelines on the S.C. Ethics Commission’s website.
Over the course of the entire 2013 mayoral race, Rhodes spent $32,770 and raised a total $63,158, according to his campaign filings. He could not immediately be reached Tuesday morning.
Bethune said she hopes to raise $200,000 to $250,000 over the course of the entire 2017 campaign.
Bethune and Rhodes also face former mayor Mark McBride in the race. McBride, who announced his run in a Facebook post, has not yet filed a fundraising report.
McBride could not immediately be reached Tuesday morning.