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The events of the last two weeks of 2010 for me personally were a surprise to me as well as a disappointment. After much thought and consultation, I decided it was necessary to withdraw from the S.C. District 16 Senate race. Rest assured that no one feels the regret more than me.
However, as this moment fades into the past, I feel it is important to focus on the goals and objectives that initially drew me to candidacy in this race.
The need to retool our area from one that was heavily reliant on a single industry has changed to focus on one that is multifaceted in its industry or lack thereof. The growth in the upper end of the district has been a blessing in the population growth and new business attracted to that part of the district. That growth has resulted in a new landscape, especially in the light of the census and redistricting. To be in a position to attract the growth of business, the senator from S.C. Senate District 16 must be in a position to participate in the redistricting process rather than become a victim of it.
If we do not elect a candidate who has existing relationships with the senators currently drawing the new district lines, there is a distinct possibility the seat will be lost. This will ultimately impact our economic well-being.
Surveys have shown that communities that embrace colleges and universities as a part of their focus are impacted less in recessions. Many times they thrive and resurgence ensues. Just look at the impact of Clemson on Clemson, S.C.; Wofford, Converse, USC Upstate and Spartanburg Methodist on the change in Spartanburg and of course the Columbia campus of USC in the economy of our capital city. We have a great opportunity to embrace and prosper with the University of South Carolina at Lancaster in Lancaster.
In a short time before spring begins, we will make a choice for the person who understands the economy, the district, the difference in the communities, the schools and how all of it intertwines into the state and national processes.
The learning curve of the S.C. Legislature is intense and takes more than an orientation. As I have seen before in many documents, “Time is of the essence” in playing a role in all of the above. Therefore, I offer the following for voters to consider when making that choice. The next person we elect as the senator for S.C. District 16 should have these three characteristics:
Integrity is something I learned from my parents and my faith. A person needs to demonstrate integrity in their personal life, integrity in their family life, integrity in their business practices and integrity in their public life. How can we trust someone to speak on our behalf if they exhibit a lack of integrity?
our values, beliefs
Does the candidate believe in a free-market system that promotes employment growth and a pro small-business environment?
Does he or she believe in efficiency at all levels, which results in spending the lowest amount possible to get a job done and a tax system that lets a person keep more of his or her own to stimulate the economy.
Does he or she understand that an appropriate environment must exist for schools so that it is the student who benefits most? Has his or her life demonstrated service to others above the needs of self?
The times and economy we face create a sense of urgency and importance. The military does not let a person out of boot camp lead a major military operation nor does a teenager who gets his or her driver’s license become a seasoned tour bus driver instantly.
The phrase, “been there done that,” means something more in this election.
With all due respect to all the candidates in the race, if the three factors above are taken into consideration, there is only one choice we can make in this election. We need to elect Greg Gregory to the S.C. Senate District 16 seat in this special election.
Hugh Mobley filed for the District 16 Senate seat, but withdrew in December.