In a press release yesterday, Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson announced that he would be challenging Tom Rice in the June 2022 primary for U.S. Congress 7th District.
Richardson has held several high profile posts over the past few decades, yet many residents know little about his past. MyrtleBeachSC News takes this inside look at the past, present, and possible future of Ken Richardson.
ALL ABOUT TRUMP
With his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, incumbent Tom Rice has worked to make the 2022 race entirely about Donald Trump. Rice was first elected in 2012.
The Apple Iphone 4s was the top selling gadget of 2012. Apple has improved and accomplished many things since.
Yet in the almost ten years since Rice was first elected, few can name one signature congressional accomplishment he has achieved. Rice’s vote to impeach Trump is the signature thing he is known for.
Ken Richardson, however, has a long litany of accomplishments to stand on.
Mr. Richardson is sure to be much more than a one issue candidate.
Had Richardson achieved no more in life, his successful record at Fowler Motors would be historic enough. Under his leadership, the Fowler Motors brand became the foremost name in Horry County, as well as, the state of South Carolina. Richardson made the dealership a local household name. He sold the dealership and was able to retire by age 55.
HORRY GEORGETOWN TECH
State-wide leaders recognized Richardson’s abilities early on. As he was building the dealership, Richardson was appointed to the Horry Georgetown Technical College Board of Directors. He invested two decades serving on the Board of Directors for Horry Georgetown Technical College, most of that time as the Chair.
Locals remember that Richardson’s appointment came at a critical time when HGTC was at a crossroads. The school was uncertain if it should become a junior college or place greater concentration on technical training. Richardson insisted the future of the school hinged on becoming one of the top technical schools in the state.
HGTC became just that. Today, HGTC excels in graduating professionals that immediately earn $80,000 plus jobs right out of school. A small sampling of such jobs include: Nursing, I.T., Residential/Commercial Electrical Technician, Dentistry, EMT – Paramedic, Culinary Arts, Surgical Technology, Vascular Sonography, Respiratory Care, and teaching among many others on a list too long to mention.
If conservatives could find any fault with former President Ronald Reagan, his key short coming could be not developing true disciples among those that followed him in office. Neither George Bush Sr. nor Jr. worked to limit the size and scope of government as Reagan did. Neither truly believed in the principles of limited government.
The best leaders, however, enlist and develop disciples. As Richardson planned his departure from the board at HGTC, he surrounded himself with great leaders who would continue his legacy. Mr. Buzz Freeman of the HGTC board and then President Neyle Wilson certainly contributed in making HGTC all it is today. Wilson retired in 2017.
Richardson’s name is held in high regard at HGTC.
HORRY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
After the death of then School Board Chairman Joe Defeo on May 3, 2018, Richardson decided to take on his most challenging role to date.
Richardson successfully ran for Horry County School Board Chairman.
Why is education such an important issue for Richardson? Being future focused is a common theme that spans his life. Richardson believes our children are the future of Horry County. Richardson continues to invest heavily in Horry County’s future.
THE COVID THING
No one in our area could have imagined the foreshadowing of 2020. Covid shut down the entire state. The health of our school children became the board’s top priority. Thankfully, not one Horry County School child died from Covid 19 in 2020.
While the disease took the life of School Board Vice Chairman John Poston this past week, under Richardson’s leadership, the schools took every precaution necessary to protect local students.
During the Horry County Board of Education meeting of January 25, 2021, it was announced that all elementary schools will return to five days a week, face-to-face instruction at area schools on Monday, February 8, 2021.
Many in the local media are attempting to make Ken Richardson out to be the next coming of Donald Trump. While both have been very successful businessmen, Ken has developed a key element that perhaps was lost on the former president.
In a time of public divisiveness, Richardson knows how to build coalitions, without compromising any of his conservative principles.
When Richardson announced his run for HCS Board Chairman, several influential board members spoke out in opposition. Today, those very members are among Ken’s most ardent supporters. They have witnessed how Richardson operates firsthand.
LOCAL BOY WHO CAN DO
Many Conway residents call Ken Richardson a local boy done good.
Perhaps a more accurate description might be, a local boy who can do.