Johnny Gardner declared victory in the race to be next chairman of Horry County Council in what could be remembered as a major upset following a contentious Republican primary race.
As of 11 p.m. incumbent Mark Lazarus said he would not concede the race because all of the votes has not been counted. He said he would see what the results said in the morning and make a decision to concede or ask for a recount then.
Unofficial polling results show Gardner took 12,252 votes and Lazarus won 12,052.
Lazarus said that he is being told 5 machines had issues, but Sandy Martin, director of Horry County voter and registration, will find out the results tomorrow.
"They're gathering those five machines, and they're going to get them under lock and key tonight," he said. "Sandy Martin is going to bring them in and get the results in the morning."
Horry County's head of elections Sandy Martin said some voting machines had not yet been counted and the official results would not be announced until Thursday. She said machines that had not been counted yet could have had power issues or were not used in Tuesday's election.
In the unofficial results reported to the state, only the Taylorsville precinct, with 309 voters, had not yet reported out of the county's 124 precincts.
This was Gardner’s first political race and the victory was unexpected by many as incumbent Mark Lazarus was an established incumbent and boasted a larger online following.
Gardner will face no challenger in the general election. He celebrated the upset at the Warehouse, a barbecue place in downtown Conway.
Even though the chairman race saga is continuing, unofficial results have winners in the the District 7 and District 2.
Harold Phillips won the District 7 Democrat primary for a council seat, defeating challenger Lee Sherman, according to unofficial results. Phillips is the only candidate to have a challenger in the primaries and general election.
Phillips won 806 votes to Shermans' 470 votes, according to unofficial results
He will face Orton Bellamy in the November general lines.
Phillips and Bellamy, both Democrats at the time, ran against each other in a 2016 special election following long-time councilman James Frazier stepping down. Phillips won that race.
Now the two will face each other again. Bellamy is running as a Republican for the council seat in this election cycle.
Incumbent Bill Howard appears to have narrowly defeated challenger Dean Pappas, according to unofficial results. He essentially won the District 2 seat as he faces challenger in the general election.
Howard received 1,376 votes to Pappas' 1,344 votes, according to the unofficial results.
He currently serves as the vice-chair of the council. He said his experience as a business leader and council member made him well suited to continue on the council.
This was Pappas’ first political campaign, and his red hat with “Pappas” on the front became a symbol of his grassroots movement. He ran on a platform of decreasing waste and increasing safety.
Councilmen Tyler Servant, Harold Worley, Johnny Vaught and Al Allen, all up for re-election, will not face opposition in the general election.
Correction: An earlier version of the draft incorrectly stated Johnny Vaught would face a Libertarian candidate in the 2018 General Election. The story has been updated.
This story will be updated with additional comments from the candidates.