Hewitt elected to the state House

It’s an honor and privilege to be elected to the state House.

My sincere thanks to the voters of District 108. This was a campaign that started almost a year ago to the day and has been a great experience.

I’m so grateful for all of my campaign supporters, who have provided the moral and financial support necessary to win.

I look forward to being sworn into office next week and serving the district. Again, thank you so much!

Lee Hewitt


Hewitt presents check to scout troop

Boat_parade_check_II.jpg

A founder and co-chairman of the Murrells Inlet Boat Parade, Lee Hewitt presents the Belin United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop 395 with a $20,000 check from the sale of the 2016 boat parade T-Shirts. This makes over $275,000 the Boy Scouts have raised over the years from the parade. Planning has already begun for the 2017 parade.


Hewitt unopposed for state House seat

The filing period for office ended today at noon and I’m unopposed going into the November election.

I’m so thankful for all of the supporters who made this possible!

Just a little while ago I received a congratulatory call from Speaker of the House Jay Lucas.

This journey started last November when I announced my candidacy and has been a great experience. I’ve met so many outstanding people and am grateful for all who have stood with me.

The campaign is far from over. Work still needs to be done to ensure a good turnout in November. I’m going to continue reaching out to voters and listening to their concerns.

I ask for your continued support and prayers as the campaign moves forward.

Thank you in advance!

Lee Hewitt


Lee Hewitt officially files for state House 108 seat

MURRELLS INLET – Lee Hewitt, a Murrells Inlet realtor, SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control board member and former Georgetown County Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals chairman, Wednesday officially filed for the S.C. House District 108 seat as a Republican.

“Since I announced my candidacy in November, I’ve been working hard to earn the support of voters and raise the funds necessary to run a winning campaign,” Lee Hewitt said. “I’ve been blessed with an outpouring of support and am glad to now be an official candidate.”

The filing period for candidates opened Wednesday and will close at noon on March 30th.

“I will fight for low taxes, better roads, the best education for our children, more jobs, and to protect our natural resources,” Hewitt said. “I share the conservative values of the district and will continue working hard to earn the support of Georgetown and Charleston County voters.”

Hewitt said his campaign has raised over $40,000 and has nearly $30,000 in the bank. “We’re on target to fund a very good campaign. I’m grateful for all of our campaign donors who have given very generously,” he said.

Campaign Chairman Dan Stacy said he’s impressed with the support Hewitt has received. “Lee has earned an impressive number of endorsements, including a significant number from public and GOP officials and community leaders,” Stacy said. “It’s easy to see why Lee is widely supported and is the right person to represent District 108. Lee is a respected and experienced community and state leader, who is thoughtful and possesses the skill sets to be an effective state Representative on day one in office.”

Click here to view endorsements.

Incumbent district Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, is seeking the District 34 state Senate seat of retiring Sen. Ray Cleary.

Hewitt, 55, has lived in Murrells Inlet for nearly 40 years. He is owner of Garden City Realty and has served as President of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors and on the board of the state Association of Realtors. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Professional Mediator, and a graduate of the Realtors Institute.

In 2014, Hewitt was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley and confirmed by the state Senate as the 7th Congressional District Representative to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors.

Hewitt has served as chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals and on the Georgetown County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee, Grand Strand Area Transportation Committee, and the Southern Evacuation Lifeline Road Task Force.

Hewitt is a charter member of the Murrells Inlet Rotary Club, an AAU youth basketball coach, and a founder and current Co-Chairman of the Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade.

He is a 1982 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Hewitt is an active member of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Whitney, have two sons, William, a senior at the University of South Carolina, and Coleman, a sophomore at Waccamaw High School.

Hewitt’s campaign website is HewittForHouse.com.

House District 108 includes all of coastal Georgetown County, except for the city of Georgetown, and the northern coastal portion of Charleston County to Mt. Pleasant.


Hewitt endorsed for state House by Solicitor Richardson

MURRELLS INLET – Republican state House District 108 candidate Lee Hewitt Monday announced that he has been endorsed by Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.

“I am delighted to hear that Lee Hewitt is running for the S.C. House of Representatives and I endorse his efforts,” Jimmy Richardson said. “Lee is a tireless worker, a successful business owner, a civil servant and a friend to law enforcement. As Solicitor for Horry and Georgetown counties, I have called on Lee several times for help on various situations. I can tell you without fail, Lee has never been too busy to help the citizens of the South Strand.”

“I’m honored and thankful to have Jimmy’s support for my campaign,” Lee Hewitt said. “I have great respect and admiration for his efforts on behalf of the citizens of Georgetown and Horry counties in the pursuit of justice and enforcement of the law.”

Richardson’s endorsement follows other high profile Hewitt endorsements that were released last week from the following GOP and public officials:

SCDOT Commissioner Mike Wooten, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, former S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank Chairman Don Leonard, Pawleys Island Town Councilman Mike Adams, Pawleys Island Mayor Bill Otis, Georgetown County School Board member Sarah Elliott, former state Rep. Linwood Altman, and former Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Alan Walters.

Click here for a complete list of endorsements and quotes.

Last week, Hewitt also announced record high campaign donations for the initial quarter for the seat of over $28,000.00, raised over just a seven-week period since his candidacy announcement.

Hewitt, 55, has lived in Murrells Inlet for nearly 40 years. He is owner of Garden City Realty and has served as President of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors and on the board of the state Association of Realtors.

In 2014, Hewitt was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley and confirmed by the state Senate as the 7th Congressional District Representative to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors.

Hewitt has served as chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals and on the Georgetown County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee, Grand Strand Area Transportation Committee, and the Southern Evacuation Lifeline Road Task Force.

Hewitt’s campaign website is www.HewittForHouse.com

In November, incumbent Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, announced that he will seek the District 34 state Senate seat of retiring Sen. Ray Cleary, R-Murrells Inlet.

The filing period for the election is in March, with the primary election on June 14th.

House District 108 includes all of coastal Georgetown County, except for the city of Georgetown, and the northern coastal portion of Charleston County to Mt. Pleasant.


Hewitt reports record high campaign donations, announces more endorsements

MURRELLS INLET – Republican state House District 108 candidate Lee Hewitt Monday reported record high campaign donations for the seat and announced more high profile endorsements.

According to the state Ethics Commission online database, Hewitt’s $28,480.00 donation total is the largest initial quarter total reported for a House District 108 race even though it was achieved in just seven weeks between announcing his candidacy on November 9th and the year-end.

“I’m so grateful for the tremendous outpouring of financial support for my candidacy in such a short period of time,” Lee Hewitt said. “I’m very pleased with our progress, but know that we will have to continue to work hard raising even more money and earning the support of more voters.”

The next highest initial quarter total was $15,260.00 raised by incumbent Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, for the 2012 election.

“I’ve been involved in most of the District 108 elections over the last 10 years and have not seen anyone with the ability to raise money like Lee,” Hewitt campaign manager Tom Swatzel said. “He is well-known and respected in the community and connects well with people.”

Of Hewitt’s 82 donors, 72 are from the Grand Strand area.

Hewitt also announced endorsements from the following public and GOP officials to add to his growing total:

SCDOT Commissioner Mike Wooten, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, former S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank Chairman Don Leonard, Pawleys Island Town Councilman Mike Adams, Pawleys Island Mayor Bill Otis, Georgetown County School Board member Sarah Elliott, former state Rep. Linwood Altman, and former Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Alan Walters.

Click here for a complete list of endorsements and quotes.

In November, Goldfinch announced that he will seek the District 34 state Senate seat of retiring Sen. Ray Cleary, R-Murrells Inlet.

The filing period for the election is in March, with primary elections on June 14th.

Hewitt, 55, has lived in Murrells Inlet for nearly 40 years. He is owner of Garden City Realty and has served as President of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors and on the board of the state Association of Realtors. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Professional Mediator, and a graduate of the Realtors Institute.

In 2014, Hewitt was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley and confirmed by the state Senate as the 7th Congressional District Representative to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors.

Hewitt has served as chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals and on the Georgetown County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee, Grand Strand Area Transportation Committee, and the Southern Evacuation Lifeline Road Task Force.

Hewitt is a charter member of the Murrells Inlet Rotary Club, an AAU youth basketball coach, and a founder and current Co-Chairman of the Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade.

He is a 1982 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Hewitt is an active member of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Whitney, have two sons, William, a senior at the University of South Carolina, and Coleman, a sophomore at Waccamaw High School.

Hewitt’s campaign website is www.hewittforhouse.com

House District 108 includes all of coastal Georgetown County, except for the city of Georgetown, and the northern coastal portion of Charleston County to Mt. Pleasant.


WBTW: Federal Funds could push up dates on Beach Renourishment projects

Hewitt_-_WBTW.png“Grand Strand beaches may get help with beach renourishment sooner than expected. Congress approved a federal budget package on Friday and money has been set aside to put more sand on the shore.

…’I’m excited that congress realized the importance of that,’ said Lee Hewitt, the broker in charge at Garden City Realty Group.

Hewitt says the group manages more than 450 area rental properties and, ‘without good beaches, without quality beaches our tourists would go elsewhere.’

Rain, wind, and floods have stripped away lots of sand, and Hewitt worries that less space on the shore could hurt tourism.

‘It goes back to jobs, and us being able to say we’ve got a good healthy beach. Without that they’re not going to want to come which then effects jobs,’ said Hewitt.

Congressman Rice added, ‘the Grand Strand is the number one tourism driver in the state of South Carolina. I think 40 -50% of tourism dollars come from the Grand Strand.’

All the more reason Hewitt says erosion needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later, ‘its vital that the renourishment be done as quickly as possible.’”

Click here for the video.


Hewitt applauds Murrells Inlet watershed plan for winning national award

MURRELLS INLET – Republican state House candidate Lee Hewitt Tuesday applauded the team that developed the Murrells Inlet watershed plan for winning an Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations.

“The Murrells Inlet watershed plan is a great example of a cooperative community effort to improve water quality to benefit shellfish harvesting and our other fisheries,” Lee Hewitt said. “I was privileged to be able to serve on the steering committee in the development of the plan with many others and saw the dedication and hard work that went into this important plan.”

Initiated in 2012 by Murrells Inlet 2020 and completed last year, the plan was funded by a S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control grant administered by the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments. Other participants in the plan were Georgetown and Horry counties, Coastal Carolina University, and numerous community volunteers.

The plan identifies sources of fecal coliform bacteria in the water and guides implementation of best management practices that can significantly reduce sources of pollution.

“The estuary is what attracts visitors to Murrells Inlet and supports our commercial and recreational fisheries. We need to do the best job we can in protecting this valuable natural resource,” Hewitt said. “The watershed plan is one of the most important tools we can have for that protection.”

NADO announced the award in August and the projects were recognized at an October conference in New Orleans.

The watershed plan was also considered for the S.C. Association of Counties’ Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Regional Cooperation Award.

Hewitt is a Murrells Inlet realtor, SC-DHEC board member and former Georgetown County Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals chairman.

He announced his candidacy for state House District 108 last month. His campaign website is www.hewittforhouse.com.


COASTAL OBSERVER: Neighborhood will haul in sand as erosion threatens homes

“There’s help on the way for owners of beachfront houses in Inlet Harbor on the south end of Garden City.

The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit this week allowing the owners of property damaged by erosion this fall to bring in truckloads of sand between their threatened houses and the pounding surf...

…While scraping sand from the beach provides some short-term relief from erosion, it’s not really a solution, according to Lee Hewitt, owner of Garden City Realty and a member of the board of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

‘Sand scraping is not ideal,’ said Hewitt, who is running for the state House of Representatives from District 108. ‘What you want is a sloped beach to allow the wave energy to dissipate over a wide area. When you scrape, the wave hits the dune harder because there’s nothing there to take away the energy of that wave. The solution makes the problem worse.’

October is the scheduled date for dredging the Murrells Inlet channel. Tons of beach sand are filling in the channel. Hewitt said clearance into the harbor is about 4 feet at low tide, and the fishing boats draw about 4 feet. The inlet dredging would solve both problems, he said, because the spoils would be pure sand.”

Click here for the article.


COASTAL OBSERVER: GOP candidate comes out against drilling

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Lee Hewitt, a candidate for the Republican nomination for state House District 108, says he opposes offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean for oil and natural gas.

“I’m in the vacation rental business,” Hewitt, owner of Garden City Realty, told members of the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club this week. “I make my living renting oceanfront houses and condos, having a pristine environment. I’m going to do everything I can to be supportive of that. That might not be the popular thing to say, but it’s our biggest asset. It’s why we are all here: the beach, the marshes. We need to protect that and make sure it carries over to the next generation.”

Hewitt’s stance on offshore drilling differs from state Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, who plans on leaving the seat to run for the state Senate next year. Hewitt said it will be his job to represent his constituents, and he feels a majority oppose offshore drilling. Hewitt said drilling will ultimately be a federal decision, but he will do all he can to prevent it within 3 miles of shore. A bill sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the Offshore Production and Energizing National Security Act, includes a section called the “Southern Atlantic Energy Security Act” which mandates oil and gas drilling off the shores of the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia and eliminates the 50-mile buffer proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Murkowski’s bill potentially opens the drilling area to all federal waters within 3 miles offshore at the states’ water boundaries.

U.S. Rep Tom Rice has said he would oppose drilling within the 50-mile buffer, but he supports seismic testing for drilling.

“It will be great if Mr. Hewitt opposes testing and drilling, and will actively work against it. We need his help, and look forward to talking with him,” said JeanMarie Neal, spokeswoman for the group Stop Oil Drilling in the Atlantic. “Offshore drilling is going to be an issue in all coastal South Carolina elections. Mr. Goldfinch’s recent comments at an energy forum were very pro-drilling. Yet, every coastal South Carolina municipality is on record opposing drilling.

“We hope Congressman Rice will clarify his positions as we have heard conflicting information. This is both a state and federal issue. Voters need to know the exact position of their candidates on what is a major issue facing coastal South Carolina. Rep. Mark Sanford is very active in his opposition. That is what we need. Once the final decision is made on drilling, it is forever.”

Hewitt said his top priority as a member of the House will be tax reform. “Owning a small business and understanding the regulation and taxation involved, I think we truly need comprehensive tax reform up in Columbia,” he said. He said the state just discovered $1.2 billion in unexpected revenue: $750 million of it recurring. “I wonder where that money came from and how they underestimated,” he said. “Most importantly, how is that money going to be spent?”

Hewitt said next in priority would be jobs. “It’s great to say we want jobs,” he said. “It’s hard to get jobs with everybody going after them.” Hewitt said Mercom, a Pawleys Island computer networking contractor, is an example of the kind of industry he wants to bring to the county. “They are bringing the jobs of the future here,” he said. We are not a smokestack community in Pawleys Island. We need to reach out to businesses like that and find out what we need to do to keep them happy, help them expand, and then reach out to their friends.” Hewitt said he has a son graduating from college this year, and he wants him to have job opportunities close to home.

He said he would be an advocate for roads. “With Horry County extending Highway 31 and a four-lane 707, all that hits the same congested Highway 17,” he said. “That’s where we need to be supportive of our friends from Horry County. We need to encourage them and help them get I-73 and build the Southern Evacuation Life Line.” Hewitt said those roads and a connector crossing Highway 701 and looping around Georgetown would take pressure off Highway 17. “A third of the traffic on Highway 17 is going north-south,” he said. “It’s not planning on stopping, just coming through here. If we could eliminate a third of the traffic on Highway 17 that would go a long way toward helping solve some of the problem.”

Hewitt said environmentalists have stopped highways by appealing to the courts. “The law needs to change,” he said. “They need to be prepared to participate on the front end of a project.”

Finally, he said the state has to get more dollars into the classrooms to improve education. Some of the state’s 86 school districts need to be consolidated. When asked specifically, Hewitt said he favors allowing state funds to go to private schools and letting parents choose where children are educated.

Click here for the article.