State Rep. Tim McGinnis convincingly won reelection Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Bruce Fischer to keep the District 56 seat.
The Carolina Forest Republican secured another term by taking nearly 70% of the vote, according to unofficial results.
“I’m honored that the people of District 56 have decided overwhelmingly to send me back to Columbia,” McGinnis said. “I hope to do the best I can to represent them.”
McGinnis has held the post for nearly three years. A restaurant owner and former TV news anchor, McGinnis was first elected in early 2018 after former Rep. Mike Ryhal stepped down in the middle of his term. McGinnis was elected again later that year.
This year, his platform focused on a mixture of local and state issues. Locally, he campaigned on his support of reforming the state’s regulations for municipal water rates. Some Carolina Forest homeowners receive water from the City of Conway and pay double the rate that city residents are charged. McGinnis said he’s planning to prefile a bill that would prohibit cities from charging non-residents higher rates than city residents.
McGinnis has also been in discussions with HOA leaders about ways to lower the cost of street lights in developments served by Santee Cooper. Those communities have grown frustrated with having to pay for that infrastructure for decades. If Santee Cooper can’t reach an agreement with the HOAs, McGinnis said he would support a legislative fix to the problem.
Statewide, he said the biggest challenge in the coming year will be adjusting to a COVID-19-strained budget.
“That was the big unfinished business,” he said.
He also wants to see reforms to the state’s process for approving hospital construction. Under the existing program, called a certificate of need (CON), healthcare providers must prove that a new facility is needed. Competitors can challenge their applications and the appeals process can take years. McGinnis said he would support either a full repeal of the CON process or at least some reforms to shorten the appeal time.
Fischer, a clinical psychologist who lives in Longs, had campaigned on improving local infrastructure, education and flood mitigation. He also supported stronger gun restrictions.
The election results will be certified at 10 a.m. Friday inside the Horry County Government and Justice Center in Conway.