HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride, who is running for South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, said he was bribed to drop out of the race.
In a video posted to his Facebook page March 5, McBride said David Hucks, a local blogger, offered him a job for $70,000 a year working on another candidate’s campaign if he would drop out of the race and endorse that candidate.
“Thirty-one years with the city of Myrtle Beach and this has never happened to me, what happened to me this week,” McBride said in the video.
“I can’t be bought and I can’t be bribed,” McBride said.
McBride name-dropped Ken Richardson in the allegations, suggesting he had something to do with it. Richardson said in a Facebook post on McBride’s page that he would not apologize for something he was not part of.
“I did not have any conversation with David Hucks about making any suggestions to Mark to drop out of the race,” Richardson’s post reads. “I certainly am not throwing around job possibilities as an incentive to Mark McBride or anyone else.”
When reached by phone Monday afternoon, Richardson said he had no further comment than his Facebook post.
News13 also reached Hucks by phone Monday afternoon. Hucks said none of what McBride said was true and that he only suggested McBride find a government job that didn’t involve getting elected.
“I told him he was horrible at elections, he lost five in a row, that he was probably going to embarrass everyone with his campaign and that he should look for a job in government,” Hucks said.
Hucks said numerous times during a phone call with News13 that what McBride said is a lie.
“This is absurd,” Hucks said. “I know Mark McBride much better than I know Ken Richardson. I was trying to help Mr. McBride fulfill his itch for government without embarrassing himself. He consistently embarrasses himself. He’s lost five elections in a row. I was doing that as a friend. He is a horrible candidate. And I’m not saying that as an opinion. Look at his last five elections. He lost them all miserably.”
Hucks said he didn’t want to talk to McBride anymore until June 15 when the election was over, and that he had tried to set up lunch with McBride at Hooters with a witness to tell McBride not to call him anymore.
Hucks provided his phone records to News13. The records show 14 phone calls, both incoming and outgoing, between Hucks and a number belonging to McBride. The longest call lasted 43 minutes, according to the records. Other calls lasted for 34 and 27 minutes.
When pressed to respond to Hucks’ comments, McBride told News13 he stands behind the video he posted on his Facebook page.
McBride said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating. Hucks said he was not contacted by the SLED and was not aware of an investigation, but that his attorney did turn over phone records to the agency.
SLED confirmed to News13 it opened an investigation March 14 at the request of McBride.