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      SC to gain seat in Congress

      It appears Horry County will gain political representation in Washington D.C. and Columbia. South Carolina will add a seventh seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and that district may be anchored on the Grand Strand.

      It's also possible Horry County will gain seats in the State House.

      Census figures released Tuesday confirmed what many had suspected. South Carolina will get a new congressional district and many local officials believe it will be drawn in a way to give Horry County more clout in Washington.

      "More money, more access to the federal government from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Department of Energy," said Representative Thad Viers, (R) Myrtle Beach.

      Viers says for years, the Grand Strand has been represented in Congress by people from other counties, but he says no one knows Horry County better than someone from Horry County and having a congressman from the Grand Strand would only help local constituents.

      "Instead of maybe going down two hours to see the congressman at an event in Charleston, they can go right up their street to see their neighbor."

      Viers says Horry County will also likely gain a new seat in the statehouse. If so, State Rep. George Hearn of Conway could lose part of his present district.

      Hearn says that's fine with him.

      "It's not a question of whether or not I'm returned to Columbia, it's whether or not we have more people speaking on our behalf in Horry County and that's a win-win for everyone."

      Hearn says adding another voice to the county's state delegation can only help economic development.

      "Whoever gets that seat I hope that he or she will work with the rest of the delegation advancing anything that is apt to create jobs, because if we don't have jobs in our community, everything else pales in comparison."

      Viers serves on the committee that will redraw the state and congressional districts. He says they will start holding hearings within a couple of months.