Louis Palm is running for mayor of North Myrtle Beach.
The 62-year-old formally announced his candidacy Monday. Palm has lived in North Myrtle Beach for seven years and is the Palmetto, S.C. region preparedness coordinator for the American Red Cross and has not held an elected position before.
Palm said he is humbled but exited to run against incumbent Marilyn Hatley who is nearing the end of her third term as mayor.
“Mayor Hatley is extremely formidable and well known,” he said. “I have three strikes against me in that I don’t know how to shag, I don’t play golf and I don’t have name recognition. I can work on the third one and maybe the other two in the winter.”
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“It’s not that i don’t want to know how to shag, it’s that i haven’t had much time with my job.”
It’s a job he would be leaving if elected.
“I can campaign and be an employee and follow very strict ethical guidelines,” he said. “But, it would be impossible to do both.”
Palm said his campaign is about keeping the residents at the focus of the local government.
“Our businesses are in the business to take care of our tourists,” he said. “Our local government needs to be in business to take care of our local residents. We have a base population of 14,000 residents and that’s what it’s about.”
He said the biggest issue in the city is making sure current ordinances are enforced and that residents have a voice in the government – particularly spending money and tax rates.
“The mayor and i are not that far apart in issues but again the focus of our local government needs to be our residents and many people tell me, and i feel the same way, that its not that case all the time.”
To contact Palm, search for “Lou Palm for North Myrtle Beach Mayor” on Facebook. A website, loupalm.com, should also be active later this week.
The election will be held Nov. 5. In addition to the mayoral race, North Myrtle Beach residents will vote for three council seats - one representing Ocean Drive, one representing Windy Hill and a third at-large member. Residents must be registered by Oct. 5 to vote in the Nov. 5 election.
To register, contact the Horry County Board of Voter Registration by calling 915-5440, or visit www.horrycounty.org.
People wishing to run for the election have until noon Sept. 6 to file for candidacy. The fee for the office of mayor is $150, and a council seat is $75.