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Mulvaney to seek Senate seat

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By Jane Alford

S.C. House District 45 Rep. Mick Mulvaney announced today that he will run for the S.C. Senate District 16 seat being vacated by Greg Gregory of Lancaster.

Mulvaney will make a formal announcement tour in early February, but he has already received the support of Gregory and several other key business leaders in the district.

"I can't think of anybody better to carry on the work I've done the last 16 years in the Senate than Mick," Gregory said in a news release from Mulvaney. "He is also one of the most thoughtful, hardest-working, most principled lawmakers I have ever had the pleasure of serving with. He has my full and enthusiastic support, and I look forward to joining him on the campaign trail this year as he brings his push for positive change to the state Senate."

Gregory announced earlier this month that he did not plan to run for a fifth term in the Senate, saying it was time for a change in representation.

Mulvaney said Gregory encouraged him to run for the Senate seat.

"Greg and I have been talking about this at great length for a long time," Mulvaney said. He said Gregory told him he would have a greater opportunity to have a positive impact in the Senate than in the House.

"It was a difficult decision," Mulvaney said. "I love my job in the House.

"I've been overwhelmed by the way that folks in the district have accepted me. Not a week goes by that someone doesn't call me or stop me to say they appreciate the job I'm doing."

Mulvaney said he's had several people in the district ask him to run for the Senate seat, which he found encouraging.

"I hope that I've proven I have the ability to represent the entire district, which includes some very diverse areas and families that have been here for hundreds of years to people who have been here for three months," Mulvaney said. "I'm looking forward to doing the same thing on a larger scale in the Senate."

'Common-sense change'

He plans to campaign on "common-sense change."

"Common-sense change based on conservative principles is what I've always pushed for in Columbia," Mulvaney said. "I'm looking forward to campaigning on those ideas again in this election, and I'm grateful to those who have already come on board in support of my candidacy."

Lancaster businessman Hugh Mobley is one of them.

"In the short time he has been our representative, Mick has shown a keen interest in improving Lancaster County," Mobley said in the release. "He has worked hard to build relationships to help this district, and having him in the Senate will be great for this area. He has one of the best pro-business, pro-taxpayer voting records in the General Assembly. I'm thrilled he has decided to run."

Mulvaney was elected to his first term in the House in 2006, succeeding Eldridge Emory, a Democrat who held the District 45 seat for nine years.

In his first term, Mulvaney served on the House's Education and Public Works Committee. He was also appointed to the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference.

In December, House Speaker Bobby Harrell moved Mulvaney to the Judiciary Committee and House Majority Leader Jim Merrill named him one of the House's new majority whips.

"We need more lawmakers with Mick Mulvaney's energy, intelligence and independence," said Bruce Brumfield, president and CEO of Founders Federal Credit Union, in a news release. "I have always been impressed by his ability to see all sides of an issue and then make a decision based on what he believes to be in the best interests of the people he represents. That's a rare quality in politics these days, but it is a trait that Mick Mulvaney epitomizes."

Mulvaney, 40, is a real estate developer.

He and his wife, Pamela, have 8-year-old triplets, Caroline, James and Finnegan.

He graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor's degree in international commerce and finance in 1989, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School in 1992 and earned Harvard Business School's Owner and President Management Certificate in 1996.

He is on the board of United Way of Lancaster County and has served on the boards of Springs Memorial Hospital and Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and as president of the chamber's Indian Land Council. He is also a charter member of Indian Land Rotary Club.