Mayor John Rhodes waged a Fall campaign that ran both Jekyl and Hyde. Despite high profile shootings this past Summer, high crime, a poor Myrtle Beach brand image, despite his unwavering support of the controversial TDF (tourist tax), John Rhodes managed to get 30% of the vote last night and secure a November 21st run off against vote leader Brenda Bethune.
THE TDF (Tourist Tax) WAS CLEARLY ON THE BALLOT LAST NIGHT
The tourist lobby and friends of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce dropped over $450,000 in campaign mail the final weekend before the election.
Mayor Rhodes continues to maintain negative approval ratings that run around 57% of all Myrtle Beach residents. With the help of the tourism lobby ad buys and “get out the vote” efforts, however, Rhodes was able to secure 30% of the vote. Questions now remain if 30% is his ceiling.
Questions also remain as to how many voters will return to the polls in the November 21st run off. With over $32 million in the balance, while Rhodes does have a low ceiling, his voters are expected to show up once again.
Residents we spoke with last night stated they expect the tourism lobby to drop another $500,000 in TV advertising, direct mail, and social media campaigns in support of his re-election on November 21st.
The tourism lobby sent out desperate last minute emails, made phone calls, and drove last minute voters to the polls yesterday.
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber President, Brad Dean, watched favored candidate Wallace succumb to what is now considered a change election. Only incumbent Mike Lowder survived.
November 21st will come down to which candidate can get the most voters out again.