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Frazier to go unopposed in District 7 Horry County Council race

District 7 Horry County Councilman James Frazier will run unopposed in the Nov. 2 election after a Republican challenger withdrew from the race earlier this week.

Challenger Jimmy Edwards sent a letter to the Horry County Voter Registration and Elections department Monday asking that his name be withdrawn from the race because of issues of time constraints with family and work.

His request does not fall within the three possible reasons for quitting a race - health, financial reason, or a business crisis - that would have allowed the Horry County Republican Party to have a primary to fill the open slot on the ballot.

"I've got two small girls, age 8 and 6, and they're involved in a lot of things and there are a lot of things going on with my business right now," Edwards said Friday.

"My wife and I talked about it and we agreed that I probably don't have the kind of time to obligate myself and do the kind of job I need to do for the county."

Edwards, 41, a construction company owner, said he still feels like changes need to be made in District 7 and he hopes to be involved in politics in the future as a candidate.

Frazier said Thursday that he did not want to comment on his opponent's status in the race.

Horry County Republican Party Chairman Robert Rabon said Edwards' reason left the group little opportunity to replace him on the ballot. If he had submitted a reason accepted by the S.C. Elections Commission for dropping out, the party would have held a second primary immediately and been able to push a candidate for the race.

Rabon said the national backlash against incumbents and the party-wide hope for a Republican tide on the national level might have made a difference.

"It would have been an interesting race," he said.

As of the latest S.C. Ethics Commission contributions reports filed in July, Edwards had not opened a campaign account. Frazier's July report showed he had raised about $8,000 and spent a little more than $1,000 as of mid-July.

Frazier, a Democrat, has been on the Horry County Council for 30 years and is the longest serving council member. He did not have an opponent in his 2006 re-election, but faced opponent Lee Sherman in a Democratic Primary in 2002. Frazier won with a 76 to 24 percent voting margin and went unopposed in the general election.

The change came just in time to print the first versions of the ballot, which will go out to military service personnel overseas and to people outside of the country who still hold residency and want to vote, said Sandy Martin, director of voter registration. Martin confirmed receiving Edwards' letter Monday.

District 7 includes the Adrian, Brownway, Four Mile, Homewood, Inland, Jamestown, Maple, North Conway 1 and 2, Pawleys Swamp, Port Harrelson, Racepath 1 and 2, Toddville and West Conway voting precincts.

Other council seats that will be on the Nov. ballot include the chairman's race between newcomers Tom Rice, R, and Vincent Lehotsky, D; District 1 between incumbent Harold Worley, R, and challenger Brian Scott, D; District 11 between incumbent Al Allen, and petition candidate R.A. Johnson, whose candidacy was approved in July after he submitted enough signatures from registered voters in the district supporting his candidacy. Johnson is not related to Republican challenger U.A. Johnson, who lost to Allen in the primary election.