Here are the top 5 Democratic candidates for Georgetown City Council | Georgetown Times
GEORGETOWN – In a city where the council has almost always been a majority Democrat, it’s fitting that five Democrats are vying for just three city council seats.
Due to this excess of candidates, Georgetown City Council is due to hold a Democratic primary election on June 8.
All Georgetown City Council seats are all free, meaning the three candidates, regardless of party, will get the most votes in November, winning all three open seats.
Because there are only two Republicans in the running – outgoing writ Jonathan Angner and Jimmy Morris – the party doesn’t need to have a primary vote.
With the election about a month later, The Post and Courier Myrtle Beach sat down with the five Democratic primary candidates to discuss their backgrounds, their ideas for the city, and their goals if elected.
Sheldon Butts served on city council from 2015 to 2019, when he lost by 10 votes, he said, to Al Joseph. This tight loss hasn’t swayed him, however, and he’s showing up again to improve business and career opportunities in the city.
Those opportunities have been lacking over the past decade, Butt said, and Georgetown needs to figure out what it wants to be other than the quaint tourist town between Charleston and Myrtle Beach.
Butts said the city needs to formulate a plan for what it wants to do with the land on which Liberty Steel sits. This plan is to be developed as part of a city-wide collaboration, although he said he would like it to be used for residential and recreation properties.
“If we were to have light cruises coming into Georgetown harbor – not the big mega cruise ships, but the light ones – or even river cruises and tie that to leisure activities… these are things I know that we can capitalize, ”Butts said.
To thrive, Butts said Georgetown needs to have a strong tax base. Georgetown may be another Pawleys Island or Mount Pleasant, Butts said, but it needs to do more to attract people to come – and stay – in the city, like becoming more business-friendly and investing in housing.
Tupelo Humes was first elected to the council in 2018 with little political experience and little partisan platform, which he said was helpful. He wanted to be an adviser to the people, not the advancement of his own agenda, and Humes is running for re-election to continue this practice.
While on the board, Humes said he was most proud of his contributions to adding more housing to the city and to approving grants to alleviate flooding in the West End and Front Street. Humes sees himself as a transparent, easy-to-reach and supportive board member who listens to residents and more experienced board members on certain issues.
“No board member can do anything without the support of others,” Humes said.
If re-elected, Humes said one of the council’s main goals should be to create plans for Liberty Steel. A former Liberty employee, Humes has said he supports the plant anyway, but the city needs to have a plan for what will be used if it is not reopened.
Humes said he would like to see the land used for various types of economic development if it closes. Although he suggested a light and quiet industry as the possibilities, he said that ultimately it is up to the people and the council to work together to find the best course of action.
Ronald McInnis ran this spring against current city councilor Jonathan Angner. Although he wasted that time, he is running again to promote his defense of Georgetown youth.
McInnis is a pastor at Mount Olive AME Church in Myrtle Beach and a program coordinator with Helping Hands of Georgetown County, a nonprofit focused on empowering youth. Although his spring campaign was generally aimed at making Georgetown better for future generations, this election he focuses more on creating plans for the West End and investing in housing in the city.
“The West End of Georgetown is where you’ll find most of your dilapidated homes, this is where you’ll find most of the streets with potholes and sidewalks to fix, so have a clear view … About how we’re going to revitalize this area (that’s important), ”McInnis said.
The city must also ensure that the companies it encourages to come to Georgetown are able to pay their employees a living wage, McInnis said.
“Georgetown grew thanks to the organizations that I am a part of and me as a career coach, building relationships with the industry in Georgetown and asking them what their needs were… and letting them know what our employees need it, ”McInnis says.
Lee Padgett was born and raised in Andrews and moved to the city of Georgetown in 2009. He was previously a board candidate in 2015 and now works as a property manager for Waccamaw Landscaping.
In 2019, an infrastructure plan to address various drainage issues in the city was approved by the council, but it says no further steps have been taken to start the projects. This infuriated Padgett, he said, and his main campaign goal is to get projects started.
“There are areas in the West End that are suffering badly, areas in historic neighborhoods that are suffering a lot, and areas in Maryville (too),” Padgett said.
Padgett also said he would like the city to move to non-partisan council elections, as partisanship has nothing to do with when and how garbage is picked up, whether or not the water is flowing or how the electricity is flowing. feeds the city. He also said the parties did nothing other than keep people divided and his lack of membership in either party set him apart from other candidates.
If elected, Padgett said he would encourage volunteerism across the city and advocate a local auction tax for property tax relief to encourage investment in rental properties. .
Making his political debut with this campaign, Dennzon Winley, 26, returned to his hometown in 2020 after several years of work and study in countries like Sierra Leone and France.
Despite being the youngest Democrat running for city council, Winley believes his age and fresh ideas are what sets him apart from his opponents.
“We have to break the political deadlock here, and that only happens when you infuse younger ideas and have younger candidates who offer a fresher perspective on things,” Winley said.
Among his ideas is making plans for what he says is the inevitable closure of Liberty Steel. To avoid gentrification of the area by the public and private sectors, Winley wants to see the area transformed into a research and development center that employs young people and local professionals.
This will not only encourage young professionals to stay and live in Georgetown, Winley said, but will provide those who live in Georgetown but travel elsewhere to work the opportunity to work in the city and county in which they live.
Overall, Winley hopes to make inclusive decisions to enable community benefit sharing if she is elected to city council.
“We’re going to make sure that things are much more inclusive and that the communities that were traditionally located here, for decades, if not centuries, are not displaced for the benefit of the market,” said Winley.