Horry County Board of Education Chairman Ken Richardson announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection and instead pursue the 7th Congressional District seat.
The current occupant of that post, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, won his fifth term in November, but Rice has faced a backlash from state and local Republicans for his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump last month. On Saturday, the South Carolina GOP voted to formally censure Rice.
“I am 100 percent dedicated to taking Tom Rice out of Congress,” Richardson said in a news release. “I want to thank the voters for placing their trust in me as school board chairman. I believe we have made a lot of progress within the school district and will continue to do my very best for the students of the Horry County in the two years I have left in office.”
Before being elected to the school board in 2018, the Horry County native served as chairman of the board of trustees at Horry Georgetown Technical College.
“Education will continue to be a top priority of mine at the federal level,” Richardson, a Republican, said in the release. “I believe what is taught in our schools is very important and I am willing to fight for top quality education across the nation.”
Richardson has scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. on the Horry Georgetown Technical College campus.
The school board chairman is not the only local leader interested in the District 7 seat.
State Rep. Russell Fry, R-Surfside Beach, state Rep. William Bailey, R-Little River, and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride have each said they are considering running for the post, though Richardson is the first candidate to publicly commit to a campaign.
Check back for updates.
WMBF News contributed to this report.