Mike Hobeika, a downtown property owner, will enter the quickly expanding field for a Myrtle Beach City Council seat.
Though Hobeika, who also operates a shrimping boat, grew up in Myrtle Beach, he is not a current resident of the city. To be eligible for a city election, candidates must establish residency within Myrtle Beach by 30 days before the vote, and Hobeika said he plans to move back into the city shortly.
“I can’t get away from Myrtle Beach,” Hobeika said. “This is my home, and I’m tired of hearing people not say positive things about it.”
Hobeika, 54, has owned a building on Main Street in downtown Myrtle Beach for years, and said he’s hoping to review the “over-regulation” in the area to make it easier for small business owners to open shops like cafes or bistros.
He also said he’s opposed to the new library and children’s museum complex that the city unveiled in January, which is situated next to his building.
The properties for that project have so far been acquired through a loan pool used by the Downtown Redevelopment Corp.
“The DRC needs to be overhauled,” Hobeika said. “Some of its functions need to be divided up among smaller groups, and some of its functions need to be done away with altogether. It has become too large.”
Incumbent Councilmen Randal Wallace and Mike Lowder have both said they are running for re-election. Challengers Ann Dunham, Matthew Hardee and Keith Van Winkle have announced they intend to run. Councilman Wayne Gray has not made an official announcement and has not raised any donations since one contribution last year, according to campaign reports.
Myrtle Beach’s city council seats are all non-partisan and at-large. Voters go to the polls to fill three openings on city council and the mayor’s seat on Nov. 7.