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Viers retains seat

Two young Horry County attorneys took each other on for the District 68 seat in the S.C. House of Representatives, and it looks like the incumbent won the showdown.

Rep. Thad Viers, who has been the House majority whip since 2003, will likely be sworn in again at the beginning of the new year, beating attorney Bert von Herrmann. As of 9:30 p.m., Viers was beating von Herrmann 65 percent to 35 percent, with 91 percent of 123 precincts counted.

"I would say a double winner," Viers said on the day the state Supreme Court ruled against Myrtle Beach's helmet law, which Viers argued against before the chief justices

Von Herrmann said he wasn't ready to concede before every vote was counted.

"The people who supported me worked long and hard," he said.

Viers has been involved in politics for much of his life, serving as executive director of the Horry County Republican Party from 1999 to 2001; as a district field representative for U.S. Rep. Henry Brown in those same years, and joining the House in 2003.

Viers said he has goals in mind for the next legislative session:

"I want to get Arizona-style immigration legislation for South Carolina. I want to eliminate pork-barrel earmarks. I want to bring school vouchers and tuition tax credits to empower parents with school choice and I want to cut income taxes," he said. "It's a philosophy toward government."

Von Herrmann, who worked in the county solicitor's office for 12 years, is a civil and criminal trial attorney who said he wanted to run because he wanted to bring more than just change, he wanted to bring improvement.

He outlined a series of goals he wanted to accomplish, including attracting and retaining industries, offering services to the unemployed, working to get I-73 built, raising the quality of tourism by promoting the area for major conferences and as a family destination and assisting law enforcement in preventing crime.