In a Facebook announcement yesterday, Graham Allen officially suspended his 7th District U.S. Congressional Campaign.
Allen lives in Anderson, S.C. and never chose to move into the 7th District. For those who have recently moved into Horry County, please note the below map of the counties in S.C. that make up U.S. 7th.
Allen was able to raise significant campaign contributions of over $738,000 in this race. This made Allen a viable candidate. What hurt his candidacy was the fact he never lived in the district.
The key contenders remaining in the race, who have name recognition and the funding necessary to compete are:
Current Congressman Tom Rice voted to impeach President Donald Trump last January.
Rice’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump will likely cost him his incumbency in the June Primaries. His very close connections to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce can only merit him votes in the City of Myrtle Beach. Outside of the Myrtle Beach city limits, Rice will struggle to win votes.
Ken Richardson leads in fundraising after Rice.
Richardson’s campaign account has been funded by typical $25 to $500 donors who actually live in Horry County. The largest contributor to Richardson’s campaign has been Richardson himself.
Richardson does not have the backing of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s Horry County political machine.
Rice, and candidates like Rice, who are endorsed by MBACC and it’s Grand Strand Business Alliance PAC are not highly respected nor trusted by rural Horry County residents, Florence County residents, Marlboro residents, Chesterfield residents, nor Dillon County residents.
Rice is the preferred candidate of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce political machine.
A MBACC FALL BACK CANDIDATE
Russell Fry Endorses The Grand Strand Business Alliance
Video Source: Grand Strand Business Alliance
Because Rice’s name is so tarnished among MAGA voters, the MBACC political machine does have a “fall back” plan for these primaries.
A little known candidate, outside of the Surfside Beach area, named Russell Fry has been able to raise over $300,000 in campaign contributions. Fry is a S.C. State House Representative from District 106. Fry has a long history of working closely with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, and especially with the Grand Strand Business Alliance PAC.
Rumblings from sources close to a PAC, called the Conservative States of America PAC, have been working behind the scenes to encourage President Donald Trump to endorse Fry.
Sources close to the Conservative States of America PAC tell us that the collective, coordinated plan is for Fry to first garner the Trump endorsement. Afterwards, the MBACC insider team would encourage Tom Rice to drop out of the primary.
This would allow MBACC to continue its hold on the 7th district by simply replacing one Chamber political insider with another. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce receives over $50 million annually in tax welfare grants. Maintaining ongoing political control is essential for this “not for profit”.
DOES TRUMP UNDERSTAND HORRY COUNTY AND THE 7th DISTRICT?
A Donald Trump endorsement of Russell Fry would be a clear indication Trump does not understand Horry County politics nor the 7th District U.S. Congress seat.
Case in point is last week’s election in Florence, S.C. MBACC insider candidate Representative Jay Jordan lost in the primary to businessman Michael Reichenbach. That S.C. Senate seat had been held for more than 30 years by a MBACC insider named Hugh Leatherman. Florence residents simply grew tired of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce having so much say in their local elections.
The same is true about rural S.C. voters, voters in North Myrtle Beach, Longs, Carolina Forest, Marlboro, Dillon and Chesterfield. The goals and ethics of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce do not line up with 7th District voters.
While MBACC establishment insiders scheme a way into maintaining political control, Mr. Trump would simply waste his own political capital by endorsing Fry.