Filing for six Horry County Board of Education seats opened Wednesday, and several newcomers filed to run against current board members.
Six board seats are up for re-election in November, including the one that was held by the late Kay Loftus. Loftus died Feb. 29, and the board is still discussing how to fill her seat, whether through an election or board appointment.
Seven people filed to run for a school board position Wednesday afternoon.
Candidates can file their intent to run at the Horry County Election Commission office, 1515 Fourth Ave., Conway. Filings are open until March 30 and the filing fee is $537.50.
John Poston, District 8 representative, announced his run for chairman against current chairman Joe DeFeo. Poston was elected to the board in 2008, and his district covers parts of Socastee and Carolina Forest.
Poston said he’s running to give the board better leadership, more accountability and improved transparency.
“Quite frankly, we as a district need to be much more fiscally responsible than we’ve been,” he said.
DeFeo, current chairman, said he also plans to run for re-election.
David Cox, District 9 representative and vice chairman, is not running for re-election. Cox was elected to the board in 2008, and during his campaign he promised to only seek two terms because he supports term limits. Newcomer James Edwards, real estate appraiser and broker, filed to run for District 9’s open seat Wednesday afternoon.
“I just want to support the students at Horry County Schools,” Edwards said.
Edwards has served on local school advisory boards and the school improvement council, and he said those years of experience would make him a good candidate for school board. District 9 represents Loris, Green Sea Floyds and part of North Myrtle Beach.
Eight years is enough. I’ve always believed in term limits.
David Cox, District 9 board member
Ronald Bessant, who’s running on the Democrat ticket, is also vying for the District 9 seat. He served on the Horry County Board of Education from 1990 to 2008, when he lost his seat to Cox. He said he’s running again because “I’ve still got some ‘go’ in me.”
“I still feel like I’m a servant, and I still have more to give to the students of Horry County,” he said.
Patricia Milley, a retired teacher, is running for District 8. Milley is a familiar face to the board, as she attends most meetings and usually gives a public comment about the importance of recess. She said she’s running on the necessity of providing age-appropriate education to all students.
“The children are just too stressed,” Milley said. “They’re being treated like little adults, instead of children, and we’re going to have a mental health problem if something doesn’t change.”
District 8 represents Carolina Forest and parts of Socastee. The seat is currently held by Poston.
Jeffrey Garland, District 11, is running for re-election and filed his paperwork Wednesday. District 11 includes Aynor, Conway and parts of Green Sea Floyds.
He’ll be running against at least one opponent, as Shanda Allen filed her intent to run Wednesday afternoon. Allen – wife of Horry County Councilman Al Allen – said she wants more representation for the rural district.
“I think we need more attention,” Allen said. “It’s not that it’s so uneven, but there are some areas that need improvement.”
Janice Morreale, District 5, is also running for re-election. No one filed to run against her as of Wednesday afternoon.
I’ve really enjoyed being on the board for the past four years, and there’s some things I want to finish.
Janice Morreale, District 5 board member
All candidates who filed Wednesday are running on the Republican ticket, except for Bessant.
Claire Byun: 843-626-0381, @Claire_TSN
First day filings for other Horry County races:
U.S. House of Representative, District 7
Tom Rice, Republican
State Senate, District 33
Scott Pyle, Republican
State Senate, District 34
Joe Ford, Republican
Stephen Goldfinch, Republican
State House of Representative, District 57
Lucas Atkinson, Democrat
Ryan M. Waller, Democrat
Horry County Sheriff
Phillip E. Thompson
Horry County Auditor
Robert Seth Rabon
Horry County Treasurer
Jonathan Hyman, Republican
Angie Jones, Republican
Horry County Council, District 3
Jimmy Washington, Democrat
Horry County Council, District 4
Gary Loftus, Republican
Dick Withington, Republican
Horry County Council, District 6
Cam Crawford, Republican
Horry County Council, District 9
W. Paul Prince
Horry County Council, District 10
Devon Blackwell, Republican
Danny J. Hardee, Republican