Tom Rice, trying to become the first representative of the newly-formed Seventh Congressional District in a race against Gloria Bromell Tinubu, took in a light lunch as voters throughout Horry and 7 other counties took to the polls to decide if he will be going to Washington in January. Actually, the lunch wasn't all that light. It was at the iconic locals stop in Myrtle Beach, Magnolia's, which includes one of the tastiest (if not healthiest) buffets along the Grand Strand, as well as down-home, friendly service.
Rice, dressed in blue jeans and an orange sweater over a white-collared shirt, visited the buffet a couple of times - like everyone else in the restaurant - and ate with his family before quietly shaking hands with just about everyone in the restaurant, quietly reminding them that he still needed their votes. In a few cases, he got into light conversation with people about Myrtle Beach history and where he grew up and raised his family.
He said his sons earlier Tuesday had been outside holding up placards reminding people to vote but he told them to stop when rain added itself to the already cold day. He seemed relaxed, though not over confident, as was his wife.
"I'm cautiously optimistic," Rice said. "I don't take anything for granted. I'll wait for the votes to be counted."