Bennie Swans, former Horry County Democratic Party Chair, passed away Saturday, September 19, after a lengthy illness.
Swans, who lived in the Myrtle Beach community of Carolina Forest, served as HCDP Chair from March, 2016 to March, 2018. It was two years of progress and rejuvenation for the Party.
“My sincere condolences to Marcella and Bennie’s family,” said Swans’ successor as chair, Don Kohn. “Bennie was an important voice for the Horry County Democratic Party and a community activist. We all benefited from knowing Bennie. May he rest in peace.”
Kohn credited Swans with overseeing the establishment of organizational restructuring that now supports the resurgence of the Democratic Party in Horry County as he worked tirelessly to bring all races together.
“Bennie’s primary focus for our party was for all races and all people to come together as one,” Kohn said. “Especially at this moment in time, we all need to take an active role to make that vision a reality in remembrance of Bennie. It’s what we must do. We remember him for his ideas and for his leadership.
The Swans were the driving forces behind the annual Martin Luther King Freedom Rally events and parade in Myrtle Beach, Kohn noted.
Swans’ death was reported to HCDP by State Executive Committeeman Cedric Blain-Spain, of Conway, who said he was “a trailblazer in HCDP and all he set his mind and hands to do.”
Said Blain-Spain, “Mr. Swans, as chairman, sought council, asked the tough questions, and with a great team with which he surrounded himself, pointed the way with his administration’s theme, “Get On Board! You Got A Ticket To Ride”.
“He took the risks necessary to ensure no passengers that wanted to ride the Democratic train, and those that needed to be on board, had the opportunity,” Blain-Spain said. “With his vision for a different political future to engage more Democrats, he had the faith that turned dreams and visions into reality.
“His determination revitalized some and added more committees; expanded our Democratic clubs; brought many individuals, groups, organizations and others to the table to help cut through barriers and obstacles, and expand our Democratic tracks throughout Horry and surrounding counties,” Blain-Spain added.
“Mr. Swans’ contributions helped us gain territory to get to this point where we are riding the “BLUE Waves” to many Democratic victories this 2020 election and going forward. It was through Bennie’s administration that we came to know our Don Kohn, current HCDP Chairman.
“Mr. Swans, there’s so much more I could say of your leadership,” said “Blain-Spain. “Activism, humanitarian and philanthropic legacy and the sum will be like the grace of a swan. Bennie Swans left an impeccable legacy and we are committed to honor that legacy to the ballot boxes and greater activism in his memory.
“The Hon. Bennie Swans, Thank you for your services and Rest In Power.”
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.