Five people will compete in Myrtle Beach’s mayoral race when voters go to the polls on Nov. 7.
Filing closed at noon Friday, with nine other people entering the race for three city council seats.
The mayoral race promises to be competitive, as challengers try to unseat incumbent John Rhodes, who has served three consecutive terms. If Rhodes wins a fourth term, he would be the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.
Public safety has emerged as a key issue in the race, and Rhodes’ challengers have urged a beefed-up police presence, particularly on Ocean Boulevard, after a high-profile shooting in June that was viewed millions of times in a Facebook video.
One of those challengers is Mark McBride, a former mayor who Rhodes unseated in the 2005 election.
There will also be at least one new Myrtle Beach City Council member, as Councilman Wayne Gray did not file for re-election. His term will expire in January.
Gray is one of the longest-serving members of the panel, starting his first term after winning in the 1997 election, losing in the next cycle four years later, and then serving another three consecutive terms after winning in the 2005, 2009 and 2013 elections.
Reached for comment on Friday, Gray said, “It’s been an honor to be able to serve.”
Myrtle Beach Mayor
The mayor is the head of city council and serves a four-year term. Myrtle Beach’s mayor receives a salary of $50,000 a year.
Brenda S. Bethune
Bethune is the majority owner and chair of Better Brands Inc., a food and beverage distributor that sells Anheuser-Busch products. She also owns a commercial property development company and a string of bridal boutiques. She has never sought political office before.
Edward J. Carey
Carey is a construction management consultant, and assisted the team that helped build The Market Common. This is his first attempt to enter political office.
Mark S. McBride
McBride has previously held office in Myrtle Beach, as a city councilman from 1994 to 1998 and then mayor from 1998 until 2006, after losing the 2005 election. He currently works as a waiter at a calabash seafood restaurant.
John Rhodes has served three consecutive terms as mayor of Myrtle Beach. He also is the head of the Beach Ball Classic, a high school basketball tournament that brings teams from around the country to the area each winter.
According to his Facebook profile, Rozsa is a car mechanic. He could not be reached by phone on Friday.
Myrtle Beach City Council
The race for three city council seats is non-partisan, and all the seats are at-large, meaning they represent the entire city instead of specific districts. City council members make $20,000 a year.
Ann A. Dunham
Dunham runs a private resume and business services company called Executive Services. This is her first run for public office.
Matthew Dalton Hardee
Hardee is a student at Coastal Carolina University and the music director at Jamestown Baptist Church. This is his first run for public office.
Hobeika owns property in downtown Myrtle Beach on Main Street and also runs a shrimp boat. This is his first run for public office.
Lowder is seeking his third consecutive term on council. He is a former Myrtle Beach police officer and former member of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office. He currently runs a private security company.
Brooks A. Myers
Myers works as the chief engineer at the Comfort Suites at 710 Frontage Rd. He has not previously run for public office.
Gregg H. Smith
Smith is a Realtor with Century 21 Broadhurst. He has not previously run for public office.
Keith VanWinkle ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2013 and has also made attempts at Horry County Council seats in the past. He works for medical logistics company Meditam.
Vereen is making her third attempt at a city council seat. In 2013, she was just 66 votes away from claiming Gray’s spot on council. She is a member of the city’s Community Appearance Board and the owner and operator of the Sea Dip Oceanfront hotel at 2608 N. Ocean Blvd.
Wallace is seeking his fifth consecutive term. He is also a commercial real estate agent for Waccamaw Land & Timber.