Political newcomer Russell Fry won the Republican runoff Tuesday for the S.C. House District 106 seat, defeating Tyler Servant 1,736 to 1,166 votes.
The election results still need to be certified, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday. The general election will be Sept. 15. The Democrats do not have a candidate to face Fry, however a write-in campaign is possible.
Fry took 60 percent of the vote versus Servant’s 40 percent with all 17 precincts reporting.
“It’s surreal,” Fry said from his victory party Tuesday night at Lincoln Park Bar and Grill. “I’m truly humbled by the faith the voters in District 106 has placed in me and I don’t want to let them down.”
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Fry takes the seat vacated by former state Rep. Nelson Hardwick, who resigned in May after 10 years in the seat amid allegations that he harassed a female House staffer.
Servant will continue to serve as an Horry County Councilman in District 5.
“For me, this has always been about serving the constituents,” Servant said late Tuesday. “I have a lot more to do on County Council and I look forward to working with Russell in the future and I look forward to serving my constituents.”
At 30, Fry will be a fresh, new face in politics, but not the youngest in the House. Much of his work for the Republican Party has been behind the scenes, assisting in local, regional and state campaigns. His work secured the public support of locally known Republicans former Horry County Council Chairwoman Liz Gilland and councilmen Johnny Vaught and Marion Foxworth.
“I’m very ready to tackle the challenges of District 106 and meeting with our local officials,” Fry said. “I’m willing to work with pretty much everybody to make sure that the needs of District 106 are met.”
Fry was born in Surfside Beach and graduated from Socastee High School. In 2007, Fry graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in business administration. Fry graduated from the Charleston School of Law and returned to the Grand Strand to practice law.
He became active in the Republican Party and in 2013, he was elected to the party’s executive committee and re-elected earlier this year.
Infrastructure improvements, including the Southern Evacuation Lifeline, education reform in the form of school choice across the state and creating a better business environment in the state to spark the economy are three of the main issues Fry campaigned on throughout the last few months.
He said being able to work cordially with local government officials will be key to getting things accomplished.
Age | 30
Party | Republican
Address | P.O. Box 14444, Surfside Beach, SC 29578
Occupation | Co-owner of a small consulting business and lawyer with the Coastal Law firm in Myrtle Beach.
Family | Wife, Bronwen
Civic and political experience | Boys Scouts and earned his Eagle Scout in 2003. Former president of the Student Bar Association, Charleston School of Law, and helped the school achieve full ABA accreditation; Vice President and President of the Grand Stand Young Republicans in 2012 and 2013, respectively; Former executive committeeman for the Horry County Republican Party; Active member of the NRA; and member of Socastee United Methodist Church
Education | Horry County Public Schools graduate; the University of South Carolina; Charleston School of Law
Military experience | N/A
Contact information | Phone: (843) 360-4250; Email: FryforHouse@gmail.com; Twitter: @RussellWFry; Facebook: Facebook.com/FryforHouse; Website: www.FryforHouse.com
Match your strengths or areas of expertise with the needs you feel District 106 is facing.
Answer | This election is about who can best represent the people of the South Strand and who will bring fresh ideas and solutions to the problems facing our district. As a son of blue-collar parents who put blood, sweat, and tears into opening their own small businesses, I understand the challenges our residents face as they strive to achieve their dreams and how government often stifles success. I’ll approach making our government more efficient, reforming our tax system, developing our infrastructure, and creating jobs for our district like I’ve approached everything in life – head on, with a fighter’s spirit.
If you were given the ability to provide more funding for one area/line item of the budget in the next four years, where would you provide more funding and why?
Answer | As a conservative, I know that throwing more money at a problem is rarely the best solution. We must find innovative ways to make government more efficient and accountable. I promise as your next representative, I will work to eliminate fraud and abuse and redirect wasteful spending to core functions of government, specifically infrastructure development for our area. By improving our roads, bridges, and ports we are able to raise the quality of life for our residents and attract business and industry that will create jobs for our area, while also alleviating congestion in the South Strand.
By the Numbers
Russell Fry. . . . . . . . . . 1,736 59.82
Tyler Servant . . . . . . . . . 1,166 40.18