Just how intense will the race for the open seat in South Carolina’s new Myrtle Beach-anchored 7th district be? The numbers tell the tale: There are now at least seven candidates in the race.
Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice (R), considered a serious contender, filed his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last week. Republicans with knowledge of South Carolina politics said Rice would likely get significant support from business leaders.
“The Myrtle Beach business community sees Tom Rice as a steady, older alternative to [state Rep.] Thad Viers,” a Republican operative in the state said in an email. “While Viers’ voting record is strong, Myrtle Beach insiders aren’t necessarily looking for the most conservative voice in Congress,” the source said. “[T]hey want a pragmatist, not an ideologue.”
The majority of votes in the GOP primary are likely to be from Horry County.
In the GOP primary, Rice will face, among others, Viers and former Lt. Gov. André Bauer. Roll Call rates the 7th as Safe Republican.