John Krajc has unseated incumbent Mary Jeffcoat in the Myrtle Beach City Council runoff election.
“I feel amazing,” Krajc said after the votes were tallied Tuesday night. “I think it’s something that’s going to take a little bit to set in. The initial thing is we’ve got a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do.”
The work, he said, includes focusing on downtown revitalization and reducing homelessness.
As Krajc was talking about winning the four-year term seat on the council, a supporter stopped by his table at 44 & King restaurant urging him to address the homeless population in the city.
“You’re not going to arrest your way out of a problem,” Krajc said of working with city leaders on the homeless task force to coordinate services offered to the needy. “This is something we’ve got to get experts around the table and see what’s working in other cities.”
The downtown area revitalization is also a top priority for the soon-to-be councilman having served as the Five Points Business Association president since 2016.
“Broadway has been not looked after for over two decades and that’s just a fact,” he said of the attention focused on the nearby Superblock area around Main Street and 9th Avenue North. “I want to work with a team to make sure we take care of those people as well as other areas of the city that need desperate attention.
“When I ran for city council four years ago, I said that if you fix the middle it will domino out and I still believe that. If we do that, I think that the whole city’s going to become whole.”
Krajc got 1,810 votes to Jeffcoat’s 1,636 for a total of 3,446 votes. The election's certification is on Thursday after the press deadline for the Myrtle Beach Herald.
The runoff was a result of city’s election on Nov. 5 that resulted in 13,014 votes cast among seven candidates vying for the three council seats. Jeffcoat’s certified vote total was 2,148 and Krajc’s certified total is 2,014 in the Nov. 5 election.
Incumbents Mike Chestnut and Phil Render won outright with Chestnut getting 2,595 votes and Render getting 2,429 votes.
The city has 23,029 registered voters, according to the Horry County Voter Registration Office.
In addition to serving on council since 2016, Jeffcoat had served on council 1984-1992. She was unavailable for comment on Tuesday night.
Myrtle Beach’s elections are non-partisan and at-large, meaning council members represent the whole city and not individual districts. Each council member is elected to a four-year term.