Election Day has come and gone, and Horry County voters have picked their new leaders. The unofficial results were not fully tallied until after midnight Wednesday.
The election had high turnout for a midterm election, with 50 percent of registered voters casting a ballot. For comparison, the 2014 midterm had 39 percent turnout. The election itself went fairly smoothly despite the record turnout, with only a few isolated incidents of machines messing up.
While the results will not be official until Friday morning, here is what you need to know about the election:
Horry County Council only had one contested election on the ballot, incumbent Harold Phillips versus challenger Orton Bellamy. As of the unofficial results, Bellamy won the race in an upset win with 52 percent of the vote, flipping a historically Democrat-held seat.
He is the first Republican to hold the seat in 30 years. Although Bellamy ran as a Democrat in a previous election, he said that his military background and family history is why he decided to run as a Republican this time. He hopes to prioritize the well-being of public safety officials.
Johnny Gardner officially is now the county chairman-elect as he had no Democrat challenger, despite being the challenger in the June primary.
All the other races were uncontested, and the incumbents won. Councilmen Harold Worley, Tyler Servant, Bill Howard, Al Allen and Johnny Vaught have been re-elected for the next four years.
Two Horry County Board of Education races were contested Tuesday. Incumbent Holly Heniford defeated challenger Micah Gore with 70 percent of the vote, and incumbent Neil James beat challenger Shakedra Jenerette with 74 percent of the vote.
Ken Richardson won the uncontested race for the chairman seat. He is joined by Janet Graham, Helen Smith, Ray Winters and Sherrie Todd in winning their unchallenged races for school board.
State and national
The S.C. House of Representatives Horry County delegation had two contested races. Both incumbents won their races.
Russell Fry won 68 percent of the vote, winning his re-election against challenger Robin Gause. Heather Crawford won against challenger Cameron Ventura with 80 percent of the vote.
Several races in the Horry delegation to the House of Representatives also were uncontested. Winners of these races include: Alan Clemmons, Jackie Hayes, Tim McGinnis, Lucas Atkinson, Jeff Johnson, Carl Anderson, William Bailey and Kevin Hardee.
Tom Rice took the U.S. House of Representatives District 7 seat with 68 percent of the vote, beating challenger Robert Williams.
The main referendum question on Horry ballots passed by large margins.
Horry County voters overwhelmingly support implementing some sort of impact fee on new developments within the county. The referendum passed with 75,000 votes in favor and 28,000 against. This information will be used to determine how Horry can best implement an impact fee on new development and to lobby the state legislature to change regulations on such fees.
Full results for all races can be found on scvotes.org. The results will be made official Friday after a 10 a.m. meeting of the Horry County Board of Elections.