Ed Carey, the third-place finisher in Myrtle Beach's mayoral election, has endorsed Brenda Bethune in the Nov. 21 runoff.
Bethune, the majority owner of an Anheuser-Busch distributor, is running against John Rhodes, a three-term incumbent. She drew 39 percent of the vote last week, compared with 30 percent for Rhodes.
"Brenda represents change, and we need change in this city," Carey said Monday. "Mr. Rhodes needs to hang it up and move on. We cannot continue on the path we've been going down."
Carey said he was swayed to support Bethune in part because he said she has told him she's in favor of single-member districts for City Council. Myrtle Beach City Council is composed of six at-large members, in addition to the mayor, who presides over the panel.
On Monday, Bethune told The Post and Courier she's in favor of studying voting districts for some parts of the city, and stressed that any change would have to clear the whole City Council.
"I don't think that we need to go to single-member districts everywhere, because to me, it makes a lot of sense for the city to have fair representation, and I think when you have seven people working on your behalf, versus just one, it has a better benefit overall," Bethune said. "But I do see where there could be certain areas [with districts], such as in Market Common."
The Market Common is a mixed-use development on the site of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. It has seen significant residential growth in the past decade, and now includes the city's largest voter precinct. Carey, a construction management consultant who helped build The Market Common, won the most votes in that precinct on Nov. 7.
He will actively campaign in support of Bethune but said he's worried that many people may not turn out to vote in the second round.
"It's two-week notice, and the fact that we're up against Thanksgiving week, that is a concern," Carey said.