Horry County voters picked the replacements for two long-serving elected officials on Tuesday.
Beth Calhoun won the runoff in the auditor’s race and Mark Causey claimed victory in the Horry County Council District 9 runoff. With no Democratic opposition in November, both Republicans are locks to take those seats.
“I am looking forward to serving the people of District 9,” Causey said. “It’s been a long, hard fight.”
A real estate agent, Causey will replace Paul Prince, who has served two stints and nearly 30 years total on the council. District 9 covers Loris and part of the Longs community.
Before his win Tuesday, Causey had unsuccessfully run for the seat twice, most recently in 2008.
“I’m just really happy,” he said after the final results showed him beating retired police officer Terry Fowler by more than 300 votes. Overall, Causey received just under 60% of the ballots cast in the runoff.
Once seated next year, Causey said he wants to help the county better manage growth and address issues with flooding, roads and public safety. He plans to begin attending council meetings soon and hopes to build relationships with other councilmen.
“You certainly can’t do anything on your own,” he said.
In the countywide auditor's race, assistant deputy auditor Calhoun defeated deputy treasurer R.A. Johnson by taking 57% of the vote.
The auditor handles the county's tax billing.
Calhoun will replace Lois Eargle, who has held the auditor’s post for nearly 30 years. Like Prince, Eargle opted not to seek another term. She endorsed Johnson in the race.
Calhoun said she has been on leave since February to run her campaign and she looks forward to returning to the office. Her leave runs through July 3.
"That is what I hope to do," she said. "I'm just ready to get back to work."
Unlike county council members, the auditor's term runs on the fiscal year. That means once Calhoun clinches the seat in November, she won't be sworn in until the following July. County council members will take their seats in January.
As for her reaction to the win?
"It was a busy time," she said. "I was overwhelmed and humbled and very blessed. I really didn't know what the outcome would be."
The runoffs were needed because no candidate in those races received more than 50% percent of the vote in the June 9 GOP primary.
There was also a runoff Tuesday for the District 33 state Senate seat. In that race, incumbent Luke Rankin topped challenger John Gallman by claiming about 58% of the vote.