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CCU to host Conway mayoral debate on campus Oct. 25

October 19, 2023
Barbara Blain-BellamyKen Richardson

Coastal Carolina University’s Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy and the Conway Chamber of Commerce will host a Conway mayoral debate on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. in Johnson Auditorium, located in CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration building. Tickets are required for entry and seating is limited. The debate will also be livestreamed.

The debate will feature Conway mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy, who is seeking a third term, and Ken Richardson, former Horry County Board of Education chairman. Drew Kurlowski, associate professor of political science, will moderate the event.

Sworn in as Conway’s first Black mayor on Jan. 4, 2016, and after re-election on Jan. 6, 2020, Blain-Bellamy’s contributions as a member of the Conway City Council began in January 1993. She twice served as mayor pro tempore and was the city’s deputy administrator in the early 2000s. Blain-Bellamy, a Conway, S.C., native, has also served on a dozen or so boards and commissions during the past 25 years. She is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, president of the Horry County League of Cities, executive board member of the Myrtle Beach Regional Council of Governments, and board member of the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC). Keeping Conway in the spotlight, Blain-Bellamy is the former president of the Association of South Carolina Mayors, chair of the Waccamaw Region Council of Governments, and first vice president of the MASC.

Richardson has deep roots in Conway, S.C., where he lives along with his wife of 46 years, Donna. His daughter, son-in-law, son, and two grandsons also make their home in Conway. Coming from humble beginnings, Richardson started his career selling boiled peanuts throughout the downtown area as a young boy. Some of his accomplishments include being named to the Conway High School Educational Foundation Hall of Fame, guiding and managing operations at Fowler Motors for 45 years, serving on the Coastal Carolina University advisory board, serving as chairman of the Horry County Board of Education, and being named chairman emeritus of Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

Debate tickets and parking

CCU faculty, staff, and students can reserve tickets through the Wheelwright Auditorium box office with a valid University ID. Community members can reserve tickets through either candidate’s campaign office or through the Conway Chamber of Commerce.

Patrons should arrive early for parking and for security clearance. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and seating will be first-come, first-served. General parking will be available on campus in front of Brittain Hall, the Wall Building, and Penny Hall. For a campus map and more information on general parking, visit

More debate details, including audience etiquette and rules, can be found at