Legislative Updates

October 28, 2010

Endorsed by The Herald

Pope for House District 47

Former 16th Circuit Solicitor Tommy Pope would bring fresh ideas to House

In the race for state House District 47, we endorse Tommy Pope. This was a tough call. Incumbent state Rep. Herb Kirsh is the longest-serving House member in the Legislature. Before serving 32 years in the state House, Kirsh, now 81, was mayor of Clover. He is a stalwart public servant, a renowned penny-pincher when it comes to public money, a long-time local businessman and a beloved figure in York County. During the campaign, Pope has been cognizant of Kirsh's many contributions to the county, the district and the state in his long career as a lawmaker. The Republican challenger has not overtly made an issue of Kirsh's age. Nonetheless, it is apparent to voters that 48-year-old Pope offers new blood and new ideas. He seeks to replace the veteran warhorse just as Kirsh did three decades ago when he unseated Bate Harvey, whom he discreetly referred to as "an older gentleman." Kirsh is running as a Democrat, but that is out of old habit. He undoubtedly would be just as comfortable on the Republican side of the aisle. He boasts of his ability to compromise with members of the other party, and often votes with the GOP majority. So, this is less a partisan showdown than a reason for voters to consider a changing of the guard. Pope strikes us as a fiscally conservative moderate in much the same mold as Kirsh. In some ways, he might even be more progressive. For example, he believes that Act 388, the so-called property tax reform bill, should not be a "sacred cow," but should be part of the discussion in the comprehensive tax reform effort. Kirsh, by contrast, has advised school districts to quit talking about Act 388 and use their rainy-day funds. "After all, it's raining," Kirsh noted. Pope disagrees with legislators who say schools are getting plenty of money now and ought to deplete their reserve funds rather than seeking more money from the state. He thinks a healthy reserve fund is necessary to maintain a high bond rating for the district. Pope said that, if elected, he would promote greater transparency in state government. That, he said, would help foster the confidence and courage in the business community to invest and expand. Pope demonstrated his leadership skills as 16th Circuit solicitor from 1992 to 2006. He also has been involved in community affairs as a member of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees, the York Technical College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, 2009 Boy Scouts Pacesetter Chairman for York County, Chief Volunteer Officer for the Boys & Girls Club of York County and Ambassador of the #1 Question, Is it Good for the Children. District 47 and the state of South Carolina owe Herb Kirsh a large debt of gratitude. But Pope, we think, is better prepared to carry on the tradition of constituent service, solid leadership and looking after the best interests of the people of both the district and the state. By "The Herald"
November 1, 2010

It All Comes Down to This

It’s been a long seven months campaigning, but the big day is almost here. We need your support to help us finish strong tomorrow. If you […]
November 15, 2010

Herb Kirsh concedes to Tommy Pope in SC House race

Former 16th Circuit Solicitor Tommy Pope defeated Herb Kirsh, the longest serving member of the state House of Representatives, Tuesday in House District 47, according to unofficial returns. Pope, a Republican, said he ran strong throughout the district. It’s his first term in the legislature. Kirsh had represented York County in the House for 32 years. “It is nice to do what mamma always tell you, and have it pay off in the end,” said Pope. He attributed his victory to the way he and Kirsh conducted the campaign, with respect and civility. “People appreciated that; they are tired of negativity,” Pope said. Pope was Darlene Goolsby’s choice. She voted for him because of how he handled his job as solicitor. Pope will act a “new voice with new ideas,” she said. Kirsh said he knew he was in trouble when he saw the initial results for U.S. Rep. John Spratt and gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen, his Democratic cohorts. “I knew I was next,” said Kirsh. “I don’t like it, but there is nothing I can do about. I won’t lose any sleep over it.” The district is in northern York County and includes Clover. Kirsh supporters were faithful to the end. Deanne Kelly said she voted for the 81-year-old Kirsh because “he’s my hometown guy. Democrat or not, I’m standing behind him.” State Rep. Gary Simrill, a Rock Hill Republican who sat next to Kirsh in the legislature, said Kirsh’s longevity and knowledge of the state budget will be next to impossible to eclipse. “The people who wrote the budget came to Mr. Kirsh to have him explain it,” Simrill said. In his own election Tuiesday, Simrill defeated Democrat Holly Ann Cooper Tuesday to win his tenth term representing District 46. The longest-serving member of the local House delegation is now Greg Delleney of Chester County. The Republican, who was first elected 1991, was unopposed Tuesday. Dennis Ross, a Republican who represents House District 29, which includes Sharon, Hickory Grove, McConnells and Gaffney, was unopposed for a second term. In Chester and Fairfield counties, Democrat Boyd Brown was unopposed in District 41. In Lancaster, Republican Jay Lucas of District 65, which includes a portion of Lancaster, was unopposed. Democrat John King, who represents District 49, which includes Rock Hill and southwest York County, was unopposed. Republican Ralph Norman handily defeated Libertarian candidate Stan Smith in District 48, which includes parts of Rock Hill and Fort Mill. Norman said people want limited government and one of his first action in the upcoming session will be to introduce a term-limit bill, setting a 12-year maximum. Republican Deborah Long of District 45, which includes Lancaster and Fort Mill, led Democratic challenger Mary Bernsdorff in unofficial York County results. Results from Lancaster County, where Bernsdorff resides and taught, were unavailable late Tuesday night. Courtesy: Herald Online
November 15, 2010

Republicans to host thank-you dinner

After their dominant performance in the Nov. 2 elections, York County Republican Party leaders want to thank the volunteers who helped make it possible. State Rep. Ralph Norman recruited colleagues in the local Republican delegation to pay for an appreciation dinner Dec. 9 at the Magnolia Room at Laurel Creek. "We're sparing no expense to thank these people," Norman said. "We always ask so much of them. It's our turn to give back." The menu is grilled and fried chicken, barbecue, vegetables and desserts, Norman said. Volunteers are invited at no charge. A crowd of 300 to 400 is expected, said York County GOP Chairman Glenn McCall. "This was a great time to do it because we had so many new folks who have never been involved in the political process," he said. Republicans swept nearly every race in the election, highlighted by Mick Mulvaney's victory over 14-term Democratic Rep. John Spratt. The party controls five of seven seats on the County Council, with Bump Roddey and Chad Williams as the only Democrats. Among the state House delegation, John King is the only Democrat from York County. Norman to run for speaker Next week, Norman will challenge Charleston Republican Bobby Harrell for House Speaker. A vote is set for Wednesday at the state House. Norman said events such as the dinner - and his bid for speaker - fit into a larger mission to strengthen the movement toward limited government. He acknowledges the race against Harrell is difficult, but says his point has already been made. "We're going to hold these elected officials accountable," Norman said. "If they don't vote conservative, we're going to get a candidate to run against them. "I'm tired of lip service. We want accountability." The effort to get voter turnout for the Nov. 2 elections was the most intense in recent memory, York County Republicans said. In the last four days before the election, volunteers made 90,000 phone calls to prospective voters, McCall said. Members of a tea party group from Greenville car-pooled to Rock Hill to help. Volunteers outnumbered the 33 phone lines available in the local GOP office, McCall said. McCall may seek S.C. chairmanship McCall said he will decide in the next few weeks whether to run for chairman of the S.C. Republican Party. After Floyd announced she will not seek a second two-year term, McCall said he got a flurry of phone calls from Republican activists across the state. The election will be held at the state GOP convention this spring. As many as eight candidates could compete, according to former chairman Katon Dawson. McCall currently serves on the 100-member Republican National Committee. "It's something I definitely would enjoy doing," McCall said. "We're going to be in a critical area over the next few years as we work to unify factions toward that one goal - winning in 2012. "We all want the same thing. It's how we get there - that's the exciting part to me." Want to go? The dinner is Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Magnolia Room at Laurel Creek, 4017 Laurel Creek Drive in Rock Hill. For reservations, contact Diane Carr at 803-631-1049 or dianecarr1@bellsouth.net. Courtesy: Herald Online