CONWAY — After weeks of considering a campaign, Ken Richardson, the Horry County Schools Board of Education chairman, formally declared his intent to challenge Rep. Tom Rice in 2022 on Feb. 3.
As first reported by The Post and Courier Myrtle Beach last month, Richardson began exploring a run for the 7th Congressional District seat almost immediately after Rice voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
“I will not be seeking reelection to the school board chairmanship in 2022,” Richardson said in a press release. “Instead I am 100 percent dedicated to taking Tom Rice out of Congress.”
Richardson is the first candidate to formally commit to the race and spent the last two weeks building a campaign staff composed entirely of people from the congressional district.
State House Representatives William Bailey and Russell Fry have individually expressed an intent to run and are exploring the opportunity.
Filing will not begin for another year, giving other competitors plenty of time to explore a campaign.
Born and raised in Horry County, most of Richardson’s past governmental experience is in the education sector of politics, and through his time as the owner of a Mercedes-Benz dealership he has connections both in the rural and urban areas of the county.
Richardson was elected to the school board in 2018 without a Democratic challenger on the ballot. Past positions include a lengthy tenure as the chair of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s Board of Trustees.
If elected, working to loosen federal regulations on education would be a legislative priority for him, he said.
“Parents, teachers and school boards should have input into what is taught in local schools,” Richardson said. “I don’t believe the school curriculum should be dictated by the demands of standardized tests alone.”