Jake Evans was officially sworn in as the new mayor of Atlantic Beach on Monday at the Horry County Magistrate office on 21st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.
Evans said the economy is on his priority list, "I believe it will start with new leadership. I mean, people look at where they invest their money. And if they're looking at an unstable government, leadership, then that's a lot within itself."
The South Carolina Supreme Court turned down an appeal of last year's Atlantic Beach mayoral election in June, paving the way for Evans to be sworn in as the town's mayor.
The high court affirmed an earlier Circuit Court ruling against town council member Windy Price. She had filed a lawsuit challenging the special May 22 election, which Evans won by a wide margin.
Gov. Nikki Haley ordered the special election, held after the November, 2011 election results were thrown out by the Atlantic Beach Election Commission.
Price contended in her lawsuit against the SC Election Commission and the Horry County Election Commission that the special election violated federal laws and that Haley had no right to order it.
Columbia attorney Robert Tyson, who represented the Horry County Election Commission, says that Price has the ability to file a motion to reconsider before the Supreme Court. Barring that motion, he said Evans must be sworn in.
A similar appeal of last year's election results filed by defeated Mayor Retha Pierce was dismissed by an SC Circuit Court last month.
Town council member Carolyn Cole says now that it appears Evans will be the new mayor, the town needs to focus on planning for the future.