22 Mar North Myrtle Beach Times Article
From the North Myrtle Beach Times website, Duckworth announces bid for House Seat 104 by Jessica Vaitis.
North Myrtle Beach City Councilman Greg Duckworth will be running for the South Carolina District 104 House Seat on the June 12 ballot. While no formal announcement has been made, Duckworth did confirm that he formally registered with the Horry County GOP and will run as a Republican candidate for the seat.
“I decided to run after a lot of reflection. I talked to my wife, my two sons and my friends. I rely on people’s opinions and I thought it could be the right thing to do. I think I can make a difference. This is not a decision that I took lightly,” said Duckworth.
Duckworth and his wife Crissy, will be celebrating their 20th anniversary later in the year. The couple has two sons, Brandon, 18, and Trevor, 16. Both are Eagle Scouts, as is Duckworth himself.
“I feel like scouting has been an important part of my life and an important part of who I am today. When my boys were old enough to join I wanted them to be able to get the same things out of it and it gave me an opportunity to give back what I had taken from it,” said Duckworth.
Not a traditional politician, Duckworth initially ran for city council after neighbors and colleagues approached him about taking a position on the council. He is the owner of a small business called Environmental Concepts and studied landscape architecture, earning a Bachelor’s of Science from West Virginia University.
“I think that small businesses desire to make a difference and they deserve to be able to make a difference,” said Duckworth, who used three local anecdotes to describe what he believes to be the entrepreneurial spirit of the area.
His camping story was about a group of friends who went camping, one bringing a stereo system in tow. When the system was damaged during the camping trip, one of the friends took out the wires and components and housed them in a vintage hard travel suitcase and presented it as a gift to the former owner. From this idea a local company called DomeCandy was founded.
Duckworth also told a fishing story, about a few men who liked to fish and wanted to build an artificial reef in memory of their friend. When the government would not lift a finger to help the men, they decided to do it themselves through the community, making the Jim Caudle Memorial Reef the most successful reef in the state.
His final story was about students coming to live for the summer in complexes along the beach and of a friend who wanted to build a turbine on top of a building to help offset energy costs. The idea built up momentum for the North Strand Coastal Wind Team and the idea has begun talks throughout the state, with some calling wind energy “the new cotton”.
“The point is that the train is leaving the station. In Horry County we are an independent Republic and I like to think we are a region on the brink of a Renaissance. We are not waiting for the government to save us, we are picking ourselves up. We need to celebrate stories like these of the American entrepreneurial spirit,” said Duckworth.
Duckworth describes himself as a common sense person and a conservative minded small business owner. He says he wants to create an environment that would nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and bring high paying jobs to the area.
“I think that we need to look towards the future and have long term goals. We need to diversify, we need to be willing to be fast in recognizing opportunities and being able to supplement our economy and that’s a very important part of what we can do today,” said Duckworth.
By thinking of innovative solutions and looking to alternative methods of income and promoting the idea of small businesses, Duckworth believes that the area has the potential to create living wage jobs and to create a sustainable economy. While aware of the cash cow of tourism and also of the agricultural potential of other areas, he believes that a year-round economy could be created.
“I think that one of my strengths is my experience in small business and another is my community involvement. I’m a team player and I like to find creative solutions to my community’s problems. I have a passion for anything I do and I think that’s very important. I am pragmatic but I’m also willing to stand my ground when it’s something I feel strongly about,” Duckworth stated.