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In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to hear Deborah Long and Fred Thomas, candidates for the S.C. District 45 seat, speak. These two individuals present themselves well and come across as intelligent and concerned persons.
However, Deborah Long impresses me as the more qualified individual for this House seat.
Mrs. Long is a mother, grandmother, local business owner and a pioneer leader. She has operated her own optometry practice in the area for more than 25 years. She has been a pioneer and leader in local and statewide organizations, twice elected to organizations as their first woman president. She has served on local and statewide boards. And she has served as a volunteer in our local schools.
As a business woman, Mrs. Long understands the problems facing those individuals who are the backbone of our local economy – the small business owner. As someone in a business who deals directly with the public everyday, Deborah Long hears the concerns, problems, and interests of the citizens of our area. As someone who has held leadership roles at the local and statewide levels, Mrs. Long knows how to deal effectively with individuals and resolve differences of opinions.
We need someone with Mrs. Long’s knowledge as our House representative. We need someone with Mrs. Long’s 25 years of business experience as our representative.
We need someone with Mrs. Long’s local and statewide leadership background to represent us in Columbia.
We need someone with Mrs. Long’s daily contact with the public to represent us. We need someone with Mrs. Long’s understanding of our local educational system as our representative.
We need someone with Mrs. Long’s understanding of what it takes to successfully raise a family as our representative.
Fortunately, for the citizens of District 45, Mrs. Long is in a position where she can now devote her time to serving our community on a broader basis.
As for Mr. Thomas, he doesn’t appear to have much, if any, business experience.
He is also a member of a County Council that didn’t think it was necessary to have security or any fire protection systems in the county courthouse, leaving us with a burnt out skeleton of a historic building in downtown Lancaster.
Mr. Thomas is also a member of a County Council that entered into an agreement with Sun City developers without realizing the council was agreeing to cover the cost of maintaining all the roads in Sun City while not being able to afford the maintenance of other roads in the county.
And, he is a member of a council that allowed the quality of water in the county to fall below acceptable health levels.
Mr. Thomas, while an intelligent and eloquent speaker, lacks a bit in performance. I don’t think the citizens of District 45 can risk Mr. Thomas being our House representative.
Mary Lee Thompson is an Indian Land resident.