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Party switching: Candidate jumps GOP ship to run as Libertarian in local election

The Horry County Republican Party bid farewell to a member of its executive committee after he announced this week he will seek the Libertarian Party nomination to run for the state representative seat in Myrtle Beach.

Will Dettmering never shied away from his libertarian affiliation during his online show “Liberty on Caffeine” before he ran for the GOP executive committee.

 Dettmering just recently resumed the show on a YouTube channel.

In addition to being a voting member of the local GOP, Dettmering also secured a delegate position to vote in the combative Republican Party leadership elections last year. 

Dreama Perdue was originally elected chairman of the HCGOP by a 10-vote margin during the convention.

But in a secret recount held days later at the county treasurer’s office, a tie was declared between Perdue and Ed Carey.

The two have since served contentiously as co-chairs at dysfunctional monthly meetings that often erupt into shouting matches at Perdue and allegations of wrongdoing.   

In an interview with the Charleston Post & Courier, Dettmering dismissed criticism by some GOP officials that a growing number of Libertarians are joining the local Republican Party to influence elections and sabotage reelection efforts of incumbent Republicans. 

“A lot of people are upset about the ‘libertarian takeover,’ but that’s not what is going (on),” he said. “It’s just people who want a smaller government in a way that is not grabbing taxes or fees to go into special interests.”

Now that Dettmering has officially come forward as a Libertarian, he can no longer represent the Ocean Forest precinct on the Executive Committee. 

As that precinct’s president, former Myrtle Beach Councilman Randall Wallace automatically takes the executive committee seat and becomes a voting party member.

To learn more about the Libertarian Party, follow this link to read the party platform. To read the Republican platform approved at the last national convention in 2016, click here.

The state representative seat for District107 was won by incumbent Alan Clemmons in the June Republican primary, but he vacated the seat last month citing work and family obligations. 

A special Republican primary election to replace Clemmons will be held Aug. 18.

The candidates are Case Brittain, a Myrtle Beach lawyer who challenged Clemmons in the June election, and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride.

Dettmering and Democrat Tony Cahill will face the winner of the Republican primary in the Nov. 3 general election.