MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Voters gathered at Ripley's Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach to hear from the candidates running for the 7th Congressional District representing the Grand Strand and Pee Dee region.
The candidates participating in the forum included James Mader, Mande Wilkes, Tom Rice, Jay Jordan, Dick Withington and Randal Wallace. The six candidates took the stage one at a time to answer the same four questions posed by four current Congressmen.
Some of the major topics included off-shore energy, principles and values, and issues related to the military. Tom Rice said, "I have a bachelors and masters in accounting and a law degree and I think that would help a lot with our tackling the federal deficit."
Mande Wilkes talked about her background in the small business arena and her goals for going to Washington. Wilkes said, "It's hard for one congressman to go to Washington alone and make a difference but when you're coming as a team the entire South Carolina Congressional delegation that's when we can really chip away at the fiscal problems we're seeing today."
Some of the candidates said they took the opportunity to help sway voters. Dick Withington said, "I feel most experienced and qualified for what is needed in America. Someone who knows business and economics."
Randal Wallace also emphasized his background. Wallace added, "I am from the 7th congressional district. I was born and raised here and my entire family is from the Pee Dee."
This was the first chance for all the candidates to answer questions before a crowd. James Mader said, "I was tired of watching what is going on and that is why I got into politics. It's my first run for office."
Candidate Jay Jordan said the event was so successful he hopes there will be other opportunities like it. Jordan said, "I hope we use multiple forums during the course of this. I think this was one way and a good way to get to know the candidates on an individual basis and get their take on the same questions."
Other big topics include term limits and I-73 and candidates said they would be addressing those issues throughout their campaign.
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