Atlantic Beach will keep its mayor and both incumbent councilors that were running for reelection, but it will get a new councilor to replaced the unexpired term vacated by Kenneth McLaurin earlier this year, according to uncertified election results released by the town Tuesday night.
Mayor Jake Evans won with 85 votes against challenger Brian Taylor’s 43 votes. Councilors Josephine Isom and Jacqueline Gore both held on to the two 4-year council seats they currently have.
Isom got 45 votes while Gore – running as a write-in – got 81 and Brenda Deese got 36.
“I’m glad I did win because I have some projects that we were working on with the town that I hope to finish,” Isom said. “The town needs to move forward and not move backwards and I think with the administration we had before, we’re still moving forward.”
For the 2-year unexpired term, write-in candidate Glenda Williams received 60 votes to William Booker’s 53, and Darnell Price received six votes.
“It feels great,” said Williams, a newcomer to council. “I feel excited, just looking forward to creating change.”
Williams said she wanted to implement social programs in the town and work on economic growth.
“Being here, being councilwoman, I know it’s going to be a lot of work,” she said. “It takes a team, I can’t do it by myself, it takes a government body together, but I believe that we will definitely see it happen. Change is inevitable. So we’re definitely looking forward to building things for the local community, subsidy programs, toys for the tots, just different things that will involve the community.”
Mayoral challenger Taylor said he was disappointed by the loss.
“I think that this is a major setback for the town of Atlantic Beach,” Taylor added. “I think that the status quo will remain the same if not get worse. I think the folks that won this race have no true intentions of moving the town forward.”
Taylor said he grew up in Atlantic Beach, but that things have only gotten worse in the past 25 years. He cited the high tax rate with low services as an example of why the town is due for change.
“It’s upsetting, it’s pathetic and it is an indication of simply poor leadership, or lack of any leadership,” he said. “Lack of vison, lack of focus, lack of a desire to actually move the town forward. If this is how it’s going to be from here on out in this town, maybe North Myrtle Beach and the county need to step in and move the town forward for us and take the charter from us and merge into North Myrtle Beach.”
Mayor Evans said his win was a result of the hard work he put in to keep his position.
“It’s just a lot of hard work and I’m tired and ready to go to bed and go to sleep,” Evans said. “There’s a lot of things that needs to be accomplished in this town. That’s what we’ve been working on the last four years and we’re going to continue to work on everything that needs to be worked on in this town.”