With 22 days to go until the June primary, both Georgetown County Council District 6 Republican candidates during a forum Monday made pitches to voters for a bid to represent Pawleys Island.
Voters at the Waccamaw Neck Republican club event questioned home design business co-owner Bob Anderson and former local magistrate judge Barry McCall about growth, the county budget and their political leanings.
McCall, who has lived in Pawleys Island for more than 60 years, was asked about the recent public comments that he had debated whether to run as a Republican or Democrat and his commitment to GOP voters.
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"I wanted to run as non-partisan, I believe that is what the comment was," McCall said. "I have been a Republican all my life. When I moved here, our family were the only Republicans."
He joked that at the time, Republicans met in secret in the mostly Democratic Waccamaw Neck and feared being hanged.
Anderson also took on the loyalty question although it had not been directed at him.
"I am not only a Republican, I am a conservative Republican," Anderson said.
Another question posed to both candidates was what they would do to cut taxes and government spending.
Anderson, who once worked for defense contractor Raytheon Missile Systems as an engineer and program manager, said "I spent most of my life looking for ways to cut spending. Speaking as a [government] outsider, you do what you have to do to survive in the business sector."
He said there were tough times ahead for Georgetown County. The county plans to make up for a current $600,000 shortfall by using some reserve funds. Anderson said that may not be an option in the future.
"There is going to be some sleep lost," Anderson said. "Down the road it is going to get more and more complicated ... we are going to have to make some decisions on the size of the government we have created."
McCall said he is against raising taxes, saying he is a strong believer in not adding taxes or fees.
"When I said no taxes, I meant no taxes," McCall said. "If taxpayers come to me, which I don't think they will, to raise taxes for certain programs, then fine."
He also said there was a need to bring more county resources to the Waccamaw Neck.
"The councilmen on the neck have to beg for what we need, yet for other sections of the county it just appears," McCall said.
Both candidates will be on the June 8 primary ballot. Other candidates who spoke Monday included State Superintendent of Education Candidate Elizabeth Moffley and House District 108 candidate Kevin Ryan.